The Weekend Read: 3. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

This is an easy, enjoyable and intriguing read. It has great relevance to every day life for anyone who deals with people which I suppose is all of us in clinical practice. This is Larry Brown’s review from Amazon:

In Blink Malcolm Gladwell, explores the extraordinarily perceptive and deceptive power of the sub-conscious mind. Gladwell’s major claim is that decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as a decision made cautiously and deliberately. What we are actually doing is what Gladwell calls `thin-slicing’. When we leap to a decision or have a hunch our unconscious is sifting through the situation in front of us looking for a pattern, throwing out the irrelevant information and zeroing in on what really matters. Our unconscious mind is so good at this that it often delivers a better answer than more deliberate and protracted ways of thinking. Much of this is utterly mysterious but some of the most astonishing and useful examples of thin-slicing can be learned.

Gladwell hopes to convince us that our snap judgements and first impressions can be educated and controlled so instead of merely praising the mysterious process of instinct and intuition he is interested in those moments when our instincts betray us, the situations where our powers of rapid cognition can go awry, where we fail to read the signs. Most disturbing of all is the degree to which culturally determined preconceptions and prejudices control us. Without reducing matters to racism and sexism Gladwell shows us that there are facts about people’s appearance—their size or shape or color or sex—that can trigger a very similar set of powerful associations which explains why utter mediocrities (such as U.S. President Warren Harding) can sometimes end up in positions of enormous responsibility; or why tall people earn substantially more than their shorter colleagues; or why car salesmen unconsciously charge prices according to race and gender.

Gladwell’s conversational prose style is concise, informative, accessible and entertaining. The stories, scientific findings and psychological tests are consistently surprising whether he is dealing with speed-dating, record promotions, police shoot-outs, the human face, or the reasons doctors get sued.

To order from my on-line store click here

Top Ten Tips for Worried Investors

This is a link to the blog created by Ray Prince & Graeme Urwin who are part of Rutherford Wilkinson in Newcastle, they have great expertise in financial planning, especially for doctors & dentists, and are straightforward no-BS people who give excellent service.

Pit Stop Innovation – The Handover

This is not new research and has, no doubt, surfaced several times in the newspapers since it was first published.

It highlights one of the key aspects of any sort of patient / customer journey – the handover. No footballing team would dream of starting a game without practicing how to pass the ball, no collection of actors would take a stage with their cues unrehearsed nor would even the most gifted of improvisational jazz players fail to practice his skills.

Last week in the Olympics more than a dozen teams in the sprint relays were disqualified for failing to get the batons round the track. These are professional athletes who have practiced, practiced, practiced yet still make mistakes.

Repeatedly I see in all walks of life “teams” behave as if not only have they not been introduced but also they don’t know they’re even in a game.

If you need help working out why your team can’t get the baton moved around the track talk to me.


The Monday Morning Quote #4

Two quotes from winners of the Nobel prize for Literature.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

(Samuel Beckett)

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm..”

(Sir Winston Churchill)

The Weekend Read: 2. Building The Happiness Centred Business

Al & Paddi London September 2007Paddi Lund (the one on the left in the Scottish T-Shirt) is a “crazy Australian dentist” who has become founder of the greatest underground movement in business history.

Only available from Solutions Press on Brisbane, Building The Happiness Centred Business is possibly the best book for Dentists (or any aspiring business owners). It’s certainly the best book written by a dentist. 

Starting with a chapter entitled “Business is Not Easy!” it deconstructs the traditional way of running a Dental business and with vivid, sometimes uncomfortable, insights into Paddi’s Journey. This is the book that introduced the world to The Courtesy System and thousands of individuals are forever grateful.

Such a variation from convention may not be for you but you really ought to find out what all the fuss is about.

To order this and any of Paddi’s other great books go to The Solutions Press Website:

To browse “The Weekend Read list”

Three Insights

One of my favourite writers on the subject of solo entrepreneurship is Molly Gordon

This is from a recent ezine and I hope will help those who have doubts about their marketing ever bearing fruit.

Three Insights

1) You never know when a seed you’ve planted will take root.
Your job as an Accidental Entrepreneur is to tend the garden of your business as well as you can. You’re responsible for planting, cultivation, and harvest. But a power other than and greater than you is responsible for which seeds sprout and when.

2) The important conversations will make themselves known to you.
If you try to capture every opportunity to grow your business, you’ll make yourself crazy. Instead of fearing that you might miss something, lighten up. There’s a big difference between being awake and on guard.

3) Authentic vulnerability is the price of admission to your next breakthrough. Sometimes the most important breakthroughs happen because we are vulnerable to let someone see us for who we really are. “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen.

Website of the week

Here’s a great website from a fabulous new practice in Hatfield. Harry Singh has put his money where his mouth is and launched aesthetics.

He has learned the lessons of the business of dentistry faster than anyone else that I know. He knows that it’s the team that make the experience and he has adopted a refreshing approach to recruitment and invested heavily in training.

It’s a brave man who opens a ‘cold-squat’ in the current economic climate but Harry & his team have what it takes to turn this stunning environment into a runaway success.

The Monday Morning Quote #3

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood.

He who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.

So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

The Weekend Read: 1. How to win friends and influence people.

The book that The Guardian calls: “The grandaddy of all management books”.

How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie.

I am amazed that there are people who haven’t yet read this slim volume. Published first in 1937 it is as relevant today as it was then. I regret that I didn’t bother to read it until 1993 but it should be on the required reading list for every (dental) student. 

No doubt significant numbers of you own the book but haven’t yet got round to it. 

So this weekend, in between olympic coverage, get into it, chapter by chapter & ask yourself why did I wait until now?

To order from my online store click here.

Work View

I am very fortunate that this is the view from my workplace in Cork….it wasn’t quite so good in a force 7 gale at 3.30am but the elements were wonderful to enjoy from within.

The View from the Desk

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