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The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See by [Bazerman, Max]
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The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Review

"Books on leadership seem too numerous to count. But, occasionally, one contributes something to the field that is truly important and genuinely new. With its lucid description of the rarified—but learnable—skill of noticing correctly, this book is undeniably one." (Robert B. Cialdini, author of Influence)

The Power of Noticing makes you better at anything and everything you do – whether in business, law, sports, politics, education, art, medicine, or any other field. Max Bazerman offers not only a lively and engaging book but a challenge and roadmap to live, see, and work with more honesty, vision, and purpose. By resisting the conventional “how-to” tip list, in favor of creating a more powerfully elevated consciousness, this book satisfies the deepest human need for finding the elusive truths that are the keys to success.” (Billy Shore, Founder and Director, Share Our Strength)

"Important new ideas are rare in discussions of flaws of executive performance, but Bazerman has one. In a compellingly readable book he illustrates the consequences of failing to notice signs of impending disaster, and he teaches executives how to practice vigilance." (Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow and winner of the Nobel Prize.)

"Many books promise to change the way you see the world – this fascinating, provocative tour into the mind and research of one of the world’s preeminent noticers actually lives up to the claim." (Michael Norton, co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending)

"Max Bazerman is one of the most creative, brilliant, and constructive social scientists on the planet. His new book, on the importance and power of noticing, is a game-changer. Notice it!" (Cass Sunstein)

“In this book that will suit fans of Dan Ariely and Malcolm Gladwell, Harvard Business School professor Bazerman … describes how we fail to notice the most important details around us.” (Publishers Weekly)

"There are countless theories in the field of behavioral psychology regarding the biases that restrict our awareness, but Bazerman is artful at the nonacademic delivery of the fruits of academia. He makes a convincing case for a handful of valuable tools we can deploy to reap the benefit or dodge the bullet, if only we would take the time." (Kirkus)

"This excellent book is a must-read for leaders and aspiring leaders." (Booklist)

"The Power of Noticing hits home, bolstered by Bazerman's connections." (South China Morning Post)

"[A] refreshingly powerful book that uncovers techniques and pointers that many of us have never even considered... fun, shocking, a breack from hard-core business cookbooks. " (Blue Heron Journal)

"A guide to making better decisions, noticing important information in the world around you, and improving leadership skills." (Value Walk)

"Bazerman's book is not only descriptive, but an effort to turn the reader into a 'first-class noticer.'" (First Things)

About the Author

Max Bazerman is the codirector of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Straus Professor at the Harvard Business School, and the author of numerous books, including Negotiation Genius with Deepak Malhotra, Blind Spots with Ann E. Tenbrunsel, and Judgment in Managerial Decision Making with Don A. Moore. He has taught, advised companies, and consulted to governments in thirty countries. He is on numerous editorial boards. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of London, the Life Achievement Award from the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program, and the Distinguished Educator Award from the Academy of Management, among many other awards.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1896 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reissue edition (5 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GEEYXJU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #484,935 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I agree with Yogi Berra: "You can observe a lot by just watching."

However, as Max Bazerman explains in this brilliant book, more than watching is necessary: we must also notice and then, of perhaps even greater importance, we need to have developed a mind-set that enables us to recognize what is especially significant. This is what Isaac Asimov has in mind when observing, "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but 'That's funny...'" Hence the importance of anomalies. It is impossible to connect the dots to reveal patterns, trends, causal relationships, etc. unless you know what the right "dots" are and connect them in the right way. The same is true of accumulating disparate data (viewed as pieces of a puzzle) and know how to assemble them in proper order.

As Bazerman explains, "The Power of Noticing challenges leaders to also be noticing architects. Leaders too often fail to notice that they have designed systems that encourage a misspecified goal (booked sales) rather than a more appropriate one (actual profit to the organization). I encourage all leaders to become better noticing architects and to design systems that encourage employees to notice what is truly important." All of the great leaders throughout history were great noticers. With rare exception, they helped others to become great (or at least competent) noticers.

In the second chapter, Bazerman suggests that inattentional blindness "is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our failure to notice. Much worse -- and well-documented -- is the common tendency to willfully ignore inconvenient evidence of others' unethical behavior.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book for case-study analysis; not so much instruction on developing the power of noticing. 5 Aug. 2014
By Ryan J. Dejonghe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is more about learning by example versus instruction. Author Max Bazerman shares stories, many of which he has personal involvement with, all about the power of noticing. Much of this likens to Malcom Gladwell’s method of sharing examples to illustrate the main theme, but without the same thought provoking or story telling ability. In other words, instead of offering bullet-pointed steps to practice the power of noticing, Bazerman gives detailed examples of recent news-headlined events and how noticing could have prevented catastrophe, both bodily and financial. These examples seem more rote than congruent.

Even in the final chapter “Developing the Capacity to Notice”, Bazerman is light on instruction or application and instead re-emphasizes his take on business methodology. I think this is what drove me to a lesser-starred review: I expected more “how to” versus the author’s autobiography and thoughts on the current and recent business world. To some, though, this will still be a worthwhile investment (as the author states) compared to the cost to take one of his college courses.

This book seems perfect for executives looking to learn from example and develop a bravado for asking out-of-bounds questions. Both safety and financial success depend on going against the group mentality and seeking the obscure, almost hidden details. Don’t be afraid to look, explore, and ask.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing an electronic version of this book for me to review.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How and why a wider perspective (System 2 thinking) will guide you toward more effective decisions and fewer disappointments 17 Sept. 2014
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I agree with Yogi Berra: "You can observe a lot by just watching."

However, as Max Bazerman explains in this brilliant book, more than watching is necessary: we must also notice and then, of perhaps even greater importance, we need to have developed a mind-set that enables us to recognize what is especially significant. This is what Isaac Asimov has in mind when observing, "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but 'That's funny...'" Hence the importance of anomalies. It is impossible to connect the dots to reveal patterns, trends, causal relationships, etc. unless you know what the right "dots" are and connect them in the right way. The same is true of accumulating disparate data (viewed as pieces of a puzzle) and know how to assemble them in proper order.

As Bazerman explains, "The Power of Noticing challenges leaders to also be noticing architects. Leaders too often fail to notice that they have designed systems that encourage a misspecified goal (booked sales) rather than a more appropriate one (actual profit to the organization). I encourage all leaders to become better noticing architects and to design systems that encourage employees to notice what is truly important." All of the great leaders throughout history were great noticers. With rare exception, they helped others to become great (or at least competent) noticers.

In the second chapter, Bazerman suggests that inattentional blindness "is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our failure to notice. Much worse -- and well-documented -- is the common tendency to willfully ignore inconvenient evidence of others' unethical behavior. In Dante's Inferno, the last and worst ring in hell is reserved for those who, in a moral crisis, preserve their neutrality. Inattentional blindness has been a problem for several centuries. Consider this observation by Thucydides: "When a man finds a conclusion agreeable, he accepts it without argument, but when he finds it disagreeable, he will bring against it all the forces of logic and reason."

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Bazerman's coverage.

o The Broader Argument: Our Failure to Notice (Pages xix-xxi)
o From Bounded Awareness to Removing the Blinders (13-15)
o Jerry Sandusky Scandal (16-25)
o Broad Oversight (36-42)
o Implicit Blindness (50-61)
o Negotiating the Wrong Deal (78-82)
o Not Noticing on a Slippery Slope (88-92)
o Sherlock Holmes in "Silver Blaze": The Dog That Didn't Bark (101-109)
o Not Noticing the Ingredients of a Financial Collapse, and, It IS Too Good to Be True (126-132)
o The Market for Lemons (139-145)
o Cynicism: The Dark Side of Thinking One Step Ahead (146-150)
o Walking the Customer: "We Reward Results!"(159-162)
o Failing to Notice Predictable Surprises (171-172)
o The Power of Noticing Predictable Surprises (178-180)
o A Noticing Mind-Set (182-185)
o Nothing Is Easier for Outsiders (187-191)

Obviously, no brief commentary such as mine can possibly do full justice to the scope and depth of information, insights, and counsel that Max Bazerman provides in abundance. However, I hope I have at least indicated why I think so highly of his book. He concludes: "As I hope you have learned by now, focusing is important, but sometimes noticing is better -- at least when you are making critical decisions. In hope that this book has provided useful guidance to help you, as a focuser, also become a first-class noticer." I presume to add a few points of my own. First, we tend to see what we expect to see and notice little else. Also, as Thucydides suggests, we tend to embrace that with which we agree and reject that withwhich we don't. Finally, it is extremely difficult but nonetheless possible -- and perhaps imperative -- to establish a culture within which noticing is not only a core competency but an embedded value.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lot of old headlines but not enough instruction. 11 Aug. 2014
By Neil Grossman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I agree with the first review from Ryan that this book focuses more on examples from the headlines but not the instructions for increasing your power to notice which is what I wanted more of. I did not think that this book gave me much in helping me to expand my knowledge or awareness to improve myself in business or personally. I am always looking for books written by people with a lot of knowledge, research or experience that are written well. Bazerman's book on Negotiating was better and I feel I learned something I did not know. This book, I did not feel I learned much at all I am sorry to say.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bazerman does a good job of laying out causes and costs of failure ... 12 Dec. 2014
By Eli62 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If I were re-titling this book, I’d call it Failure to Notice: What People Should See But Don’t. I’d drop leaders from the title because there’s little in the book about leadership. Mostly, it combines case examples (many culled from the news) with review of ideas and research about the elements in human thinking that lead people not to notice important stuff. Bazerman does a good job of laying out causes and costs of failure to notice, though he addresses individual psychological factors more than larger institutional ones. But there’s not much help on how to remedy those problems. Bazerman’s prescriptions are, as other reviewers have noted, weak and vague.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read but fails to get into enough specifics to teach new skills 22 Aug. 2014
By Doug - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
An enjoyable read but left me still wondering how to be more effective at "noticing." If you enjoy reading stories and anecdotes that teach lessons, this is the book for you. The author also does a nice job of bringing in relevant research to bolster his theories.

Where this falls short...he pushes his political agenda a little too hard (even though I agree with him). He also fails to give clear guidance on exactly how to improve the ability to notice. The last chapter is left for this but it falls short of being clear and helpful. Maybe my expectations were too high and I didn't notice the reviews :)
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