How to recognise and beat the ‘knowing’ gap

On a warm summer afternoon, Christina Wodtke, lecturer and author including the bestseller Radical Focus, succinctly challenged the entire MTP Engage Hamburg audience, “You all say – ‘I got it’ – you ain’t got it!”.

Christina explains how the challenge of building an effective workplace to deliver innovative technology is hindered by fast-thinking, defensive cultures, conflict aversion and misaligned incentives. In a fast-paced 30-minute talk, you will learn why and how to improve with a pragmatic approach. Watch the video in full or read on for her key points.

Referencing Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow, Christina explains how stakeholders, team members and ourselves repeatedly ignore the facts and squeeze the points wrongly into familiar and comfortable thinking. She illustrates this by recalling sharing hard data with a colleague showing his preferred Myers-Briggs profiling tool cannot create repeatable results. Yet, despite this vital flaw, the colleague responded, “Yeah, but I like it”. She warns how this type one automated thinking can be dangerous.

Christina energetically shines a bright light on workplace behaviours that might hold your organisation back. You are one of the lucky few if you have not experienced any of the following:

  • Do people get promoted for looking smart in meetings, despite not delivering?
  • Are business units or departments set up to compete against each other?
  • How often is action talked about, but nothing happens?
  • Can you find time to do anything after answering all the emails and slack messages?
  • Is thinking substituted with memory, leading to ideas killed off with the phrase “We tried that” or worse, “that’s not how we do this here”

Defensive culture, fast-thinking, and misaligned incentives block preferred working methods such as agile, lean or OKRs.


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