Factfulness by Hans Roling (of TED talks and Gapminder charts fame) is an exceptionally good book. It provides great insight into how to think more effectively and how to understand the reality of the world we live in (versus the large distortions so common in most people’s view of the world).
One of the significant focuses of the book is the need for critical thinking.
I have come to see a willingness to value critical thinking, even when it means forcing the organization to address tough issues, as one the differences between organizations that succeed in applying management improvement methods and those that fail. In many organizations that fail, more weight given to making things easy for your bosses versus continual improvement in providing value to customers (which often requires challenging existing processes, beliefs and power structures in the organization).
Challenging the status quo is difficult and most organizations prefer to maintain a culture that takes an easier path. Management improvement often requires a willingness to encourage challenges to the status quo. The importance of challenging the status quo in your organization and in your own thinking is under appreciated.
An example of the systems thinking and economics views Hans shares in the book:
My friend disagreed, as do most doctors and perhaps most members of the public. “Your obligation is to do everything for the patients in your care.”
A focus on what is in front of you right now and a disregard for the overall system and long term consequences (that are often far more important) is common many organizations.
Related: Poorly Stratified Data Leads to Mistakes in Analysis – The Illusion of Understanding – Ignoring Unpleasant Truths is Often Encouraged – Factfulness – An Extremely Valuable Book (from the Curious Cat Economics Blog – Why Do People Fail to Adopt Better Management Methods?
* In 2017 (read more about this idea)
Level 1 has 0.75 billion people living on less than $2 per day.
Level 2 has 3.3 billion people living on incomes between $2 to $8 per day.
Level 3 has 2.5 billion people living on $8 to $32 per day.
Level 4 has 0.9 billion people living on more than $32 per day.