Saturday, March 14, 2009

TED Talk on Wisdom

I just finished listening to Barry Schwartz's talk on the "Loss of Wisdom" given at TED in February 2009. This is an outstanding talk and really gets to the root of some of the issues that caused this current economic crisis and are also causing companies to be stuck in a crisis circle.

Barry makes very clear points with examples that rules and incentives are NOT the solution to our problems. The issues we face are, in his words, "often ambigous and ill defined". It isn't possible to write rules to solve these issues. Each situation is different. We must apply morals, wisdom (maybe collectively known as common sense) to each situation in order to solve it. Responding by developing guidelines or rules that "must be followed" are not the solution and in fact more often than not will cause even more problems in the long run.

Everyone should listen to this talk (see the link). There is something in it for everyone regardless of your position in a company or society.

The talk is available at and also on iTunes.

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