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How to Make Irrational People Rational

How to Make Irrational People Rational

Are windmills machines used to produce wind? The faster windmills are observed to rotate, the more wind is observed to be. Therefore, wind is caused by the rotation of windmills. [1]

This is an example of reverse causality, which happen when we illogically infer causation from correlation. Often times, we mistakenly imply a strong correlation means causation. Let’s look at another example of this mistake. U.S. spending on science, space, and technology correlates with Suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation. [2]

    Let’s start by looking at the definition of both correlation and causation.

    Correlation. In statistics, a correlation is a single number describing the degree of relationship between two variables. [3] The key word here is relationship, where a relationship may exist, but not causation.

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    Causation. If A causes B we have direct causation. Meaning, one event is 100% causing something else. For example, if you stand in the rain, this will cause you to get wet.

      Let’s look at another example, one that might initially confuse you (which demonstrates how easy it is to imply correlation equals causation). Does the following imply causation?

      Statement. If you commit a felony, you will go to jail.

      Answer. This does not infer causation, because you might go to jail if you get caught. Even if you get caught, you could still receive probation or a lesser punishment. Essentially, we can’t say for sure that committing a felony will cause you to go to jail. [4]

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      To avoid falling into this trap, peel back the layers.

      We can use a futures research method that will help us focus on an in-depth analysis of our problem. This method is called Causal Layer Analysis (CLA) and allows us to dig into the layers (or dimensions) of a problem. Let’s see how it works. [5]

        There are four layers of CLA

        • Layer #1 – Litany. This is our day-to-day future where solutions to problems are typically short term.
        • Layer #2 – Systemic Causes. Here we focus on the social, economic, and political issues.
        • Layer #3 – Worldview. This is our big picture paradigm.
        • Layer #4 – Myth or Metaphor. Our deep unconscious stories reside in this layer.

        Using CLA will assist us in getting to the root cause of a problem. Go back to our U.S. spending and Suicide example. Instead of implying causation, we should dig into the root cause of this issue. This example shows a strong correlation, where r = .99. The closer we are to 1, the stronger the correlation. However, we know this is not logical. So, we must gather more data associated to this problem, identify other potential causes, and identify the true root of the problem.

        Let’s look at some techniques we can use for this.

        1. Fishbone Diagram

        The Fishbone Diagram (otherwise known as an Ishikawa or Cause-and-Effect Diagram) is a way to identify as many possible causes for an effect or problem. [6]

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          2. 5-Why

          Here is a technique you mastered when you were a child, yet you forgot when you became an adult. Simply ask why. The 5-Why technique is a powerful tool allowing us to peel back the layers of symptoms and get to the root of the problem. [7]

            3. Apollo Root Cause Analysis

            This is a way to dig deeper into root cause analysis. Here we look for (at least) two causes in the form of an action and condition, then ask why of each answer and continue to ask why of each cause until there are no more answers. [8]

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              4. Pareto Analysis

              The Pareto analysis is where we use the Pareto principle. Here we find that 20% of our work creates 80% of the results… or 80% of our problem comes from 20% of a certain population. This is a powerful and effective technique for quickly identifying a problem area to focus on.

                Can you now see the error when implying correlation equals causation? Once we understand how errors like this occur, we can use powerful techniques to expose them and find the true root cause to the problem. We are blind when we fail to do this. It’s like trying to look into a forest, but you are blinded by the trees; where you know there is a forest in there somewhere.

                Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

                Reference

                More by this author

                Dr. Jamie Schwandt

                Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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                Trending in Productivity

                1 How SMART Goal Setting Makes Lasting Changes in Your Life 2 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 3 The Surefire Method to Set Long Term Goals and Reach Success 4 17 Smart Tips on Setting Goals to Accomplish More in Life 5 Smart Goals Template to Help Leaders Attain Success Easily

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                Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019

                7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019

                There’s nothing more fulfilling than the sense of accomplishment you get by achieving your business goals.

                Gone are the days when you used pen and paper to take notes and manage your work day. As millennials are relying heavily on technology to manage almost everything from finances to their personal fitness, goal tracking apps are also becoming increasingly popular.[1]

                In this piece, we will shed some light on 7 such goal tracking apps that you can use to streamline your operations.

                I have handpicked these apps from a software rating web services site Best Online Reviews. Industry experts review software on these websites and help businesses to find the right solutions to meet their various, unique business requirements.

                1. Aha!

                  Aha! is a California-based roadmap software provider and offers excellent goal tracking app that lets you define goals and objectives for projects. The app also lets you list out primary tasks and allows you to focus on them.

                  Hosted securely on the cloud, the app offers enhanced communication tools for sharing updates through emails with select colleagues or the entire organization.

                  Aha! is available on multiple platforms such as the web, Android, iOS, Windows, etc. and starts from $59 per month per user.

                  Available for Web

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                  2. Asana

                    Asana is one of the more popular project management apps available for businesses. It lets you organize all your team’s work, such as setting up and tracking goals, creating tasks, sharing files and notes, etc.

                    Asana also allows your team to organize all their tasks and focus on urgent priorities. Moreover, the app offers a delightful user experience that makes task management simple and easy.

                    Asana is available on multiple platforms from PCs and Mac to iOS and Android. Multi-channel adaptability makes Asana the perfect choice to track your goals anytime, from anywhere.

                    Available for iOS | Android | Web

                    3. Basecamp

                      Basecamp is an excellent tool to manage all your team’s projects and keep your activities organized. It opens a new thread for every task and that task is visible by the whole team.

                      With Basecamp, you can schedule tasks, add to-dos, discuss tasks by adding comments, add files and attachments, and much more.

                      The app is available on both mobile and desktop platforms and costs $99 per month. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS platforms and offers excellent multi-channel access.

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                      Available for iOS | Android | Web

                      4. Forecast

                        An efficient tool for successful task management, Forecast is also a popular goal tracking app. Apart from effective milestone tracking, the app also offers convenient status reporting.

                        Forecast uses project history to let you know the status of your current work. Moreover, it uses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide high-quality assistance. It is a robust app for small teams to track goals and time.

                        Forecast is available for free and comes with Android and iOS app support. The premium version of the app starts from $19 per month per user.

                        Available for Web

                        5. Wrike

                          Wrike is a cloud-based collaboration and project management app that successfully manages projects from start to finish. It lets you create tasks, track work progress and retrieve reports with ease.

                          The app also gives real-time work updates and helps team members to understand their work priorities. A custom report builder helps you to generate in-depth reporting.

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                          Wrike’s premium version is available from $9.80 per month per user and is available on multiple platforms.

                          Available for iOS | Android | Web

                          6. Todo.vu

                            Todo.vu is a unique platform that delivers enhanced customer relationship management (CRM), task management, time tracking, and billing functionality in a single app.

                            According to Capterra, it’s an ideal app for freelancers and consultants, who are looking for tools to improve efficiency and transparency.

                            Although the app is free to use with basic features, the premium plan starts from $5 per month per user. The app also comes with calendar sync and task reminder functionality to keep you on track, always.

                            Available for Web

                            7. Flock

                              Looking for a tool to simplify task management? Try out Flock.

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                              Flock comes with enhanced goal tracking and additional features like instant messaging.

                              Moreover, Flock offers tons of integrations with tools such as Google, MailChimp, Jira, Dropbox, etc. It is a powerful tool that’s packed with robust features such as reminders, notes, polls and to-dos.

                              Even though you can use the tool for free, the paid version of Flock is available from $4.50 per month per user.

                              Available for iOS | Android | Web

                              Conclusion

                              Businesses need high-quality project management tools to streamline collaboration and operations. Enhanced goal tracking apps make it easy for your team to improve productivity by keeping its tasks organized.

                              But it’s essential that you choose an app that meets your unique business requirements. You can choose from the above-mentioned apps to streamline operations and improve the productivity of your team.

                              Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                              Reference

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