“To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.”
Professor Miguel Lobo offered in his Decision Making course many cutting edge theses and socio-psychological phenomena, but at the core of his message lay this quotation dating back thousands of years to Confucious. An introduction into behaviour, judgement, and rationality forced all of us re-think the ways in which we make decisions. We covered six main points, tied to the decision making survey we took the evening before: Anchoring, Availability Bias, Representative Bias, Overconfidence and the Nobel prize-winning concept of Prospect Theory. We learned that getting struck in the head by falling aeroplane parts is a more common cause of death than shark attacks, however, because of the widespread coverage and natural human fear of sharks, we almost invariably believe the opposite. Our minds were manipulated, twisted and untwisted into knots, and by lunch time the atmosphere was electric with students gushing over what many described as the “best lecture EVER!”
It was especially interesting to talk about risk and the way we behave, approach and process the information that is given to us, and the students engaged extremely well and asked thoughtful questions throughout the two sessions. It was also a fantastic precursor to the YFCD sessions that will be kicking off on Thursday as the students negotiate their acquisition of Maywood Bicycles. Reflecting on the session, Jan said
“The importance of feedback and to actively seek it has been stressed regularly during the lecture and I do intend to focus on it much more than I previously did!”
One of the key conversations revolved around Anchoring: the power of numbers given – explicitly or covertly – to fix our thinking in one area and sway our judgement whether we know it or not. In a boardroom discussion often the first number suggested has a huge and irreversible impact on the rest of the discussion, and examples in the lectures, even when flagged up and discussed, were a shock to many. Group 16, for one, led by newly elected CEO Tilda took this to heart, and were spotted trying to breed a de-anchored discussion by writing their thoughts down first:
In the evening, after a quick trip to Franprix to purchase some essentials (read: snacks), we attended a panel talk by a current MBA student and two INSEAD alumni. We were all fascinated by their journeys, how they came to pursue an MBA and the ways in which INSEAD has changed them and their lives. The alumni network, we were told, had a long arm that extended to all of us on the [email protected] programme, and we can look forward to many years of global connections (and favours!)
After dinner, it was time for the inaugural [email protected] Quiz, featuring all the ‘Quizzards’ of the programme, and brought out the competitive edge in the group. Eleven teams of students (and an extra boisterous counsellor team) tackled sections including: general knowledge (“which letter of the alphabet does not appear on the periodic table?”); Disney (“what were the names of the seven dwarves?” The aged counsellors struggled more here!); identifying popular songs played in reverse; history and geography; sports; and the famous ‘The Thing’ challenge.
As competition became fierce, points racked up, and to their dismay team “We thought this was speed dating” (counsellors) were thrashed by an impressive “Frankfurt 69” team, who secured themselves chocolately prizes and, of course, plenty of bragging rights.