Posts by tivitti

The 5 pillars of joint venture governance

November 10th, 2022 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “The 5 pillars of joint venture governance”
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Globally, the number of material new joint ventures (JVs) has more than doubled in the past two years. Across a wide range of industries, firms are using JVs and other partnerships as a way to make their businesses more sustainable and to gain access to capabilities, capital and scale.

While JVs make meaningful contributions to corporate revenue and can enable new growth strategies, they also increase their shareholders’ risk exposure, often in ways that are hard to manage; this is especially true of ventures that are not majority owned or controlled. Good governance matters. You see a clear statistical correlation between good governance and the medium-term financial and strategic performance of JVs.

For instance, joint ventures with top-quartile governance scores are four times as likely to exceed the owners’ financial and strategic expectations compared with JVs with bottom-quartile governance scores. Good governance allows joint ventures to quickly spot and respond to risks; access synergies with their owner companies; and grow, restructure and otherwise evolve in a manner that reflects the needs of the owners and the changing demands of the market.

JVs with weak governance are more likely to stagnate and suffer from swings between excessive overreach and alarming lapses in oversight. Time and again, governance fails because the partners lack a shared view of the JV’s purpose and operating model. Once the partners are aligned on the venture’s purpose and operating model, five things are key to getting the mechanics of JV governance right.

Each of The Five Pillars of JV Governance reflects unique elements of the shared ownership structure of JVs. They are separate from the general good governance practices found in public or private companies, many of which also apply to joint ventures.


Any board should be involved in reviewing and approving the company’s strategy, major investments, annual plans and budgets, financial and operating performance, management compensation, succession planning and other matters.

In JVs, however, it is far from obvious how involved the board should be.

A better approach is for a JV board to start with a principles-based discussion on what type of board it wants to be. Once the board is directionally aligned on where it would like to be and how this might evolve over time, it can be valuable to go deeper.


Boards are only as good as the people on them. In JVs, board composition introduces a number of unique features. For starters, it is often valuable to have each shareholder designate a lead director a first among equals of its board representatives.

A lead director will spend relatively more time on the JV than fellow directors and will work with the JV CEO and the other lead director(s) between board meetings.

Another best practice in JVs is to limit the number of non directors in board meetings. The number of formal directors on JV boards tends to be fairly small, with JV boards having a median of six official directors.


JV boards tend to do a good job and spend a substantial amount of time managing the current financial and operating performance of the JV.

But JV boards are prone to spending far too much time listening to a parade of management presentations and not enough time discussing critical issues, soliciting the input of directors, and building consensus. Because JV directors are busy shareholder executives, many use board meetings to get educated on the issues. This is not a good use of the board’s precious time.


In corporate boards, the purpose and use of committees is well established. Committees are generally helpful to the workings of the board, as they allow a subset of directors to review and work out the details in areas such as finance, audit, and compensation, and to make recommendations to the full board. In JVs, committees allow the board to make better use of its time and leverage the expertise of committee members.


Governance in JVs is not just about the board, committees, and management. The most sophisticated shareholder companies think deliberately about how they organise themselves internally to enable good governance.

The work of internal shareholder governance includes such critical activities as supporting the company’s JV board directors, managing internal approvals and audits, coordinating services and support to the JV, and ensuring that the venture is receiving the needed expertise and other help from the company to succeed.

Adapted from a study by James Bamford e Geoff Walker

Does impostor syndrome have its advantages?

August 25th, 2022 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Does impostor syndrome have its advantages?”
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People tend to think that impostor syndrome is uniformly harmful. Certainly the belief that you’re not as competent as others think you are can make you anxious and lower your self-esteem. But there’s an upside too. Professor Tewfik’s research shows that experiencing this phenomenon can make you more adept at relationships, which is a key ingredient in career success. 

In one study, doctors in training who had more frequent impostor thoughts were significantly better at handling sensitive interactions with patients, which led those patients to give them higher interpersonal skill ratings. 

In another study, job candidates primed to have more impostor thoughts asked more questions during informal pre-interview chats and as a result were viewed by hiring managers as having better people skills. 

In addition, impostor thoughts didn’t seem to hurt performance: doctors who had more of them were just as likely as other doctors to give correct diagnoses, and job candidates who had more of them were just as likely to be invited for an interview after their chats with hiring managers.

Impostor syndrome is not a real syndrome or pathology. Interestingly, to date there’s no empirical quantitative evidence that impostor thoughts degrade performance. 

Yet this notion persists. Psychologists often point to something called the Yerkes-Dodson stress performance curve, which shows that up to a point, a few nerves actually improve performance. It may be that having the right amount of impostor thoughts can provide just enough motivation to bring out your best work.

How do you determine whether someone has impostor syndrome and to what extent? What researchers have been studying and calling impostor syndrome or impostor phenomenon over the past few decades was indistinguishable from fear. And if fear is what we’ve been studying, it’s no wonder we think that experiencing it is all bad news. These thoughts tend to peak when you’re facing a new challenge, starting a new job, or encountering new tasks after a promotion. 

Professor Tewfik also asked herself: “Do women and people of colour have impostor thoughts more frequently?” 

In all her studies, and this has been backed up by other researchers, she doesn’t find significant differences.  That is, white men seem to experience just as many impostor thoughts as women and ethnic minorities do. When people point to the impostor phenomenon in underrepresented groups, they appear to be conflating it with something more insidious: a lack of belonging. 

A true impostor thought is “My colleagues think I’m smarter than I am.” It’s not “I think other people question whether I belong here or think I’m not smart enough.” Essentially, impostor thoughts make you more attuned to other people’s perceptions and feelings, which makes you more likeable.

In fact, if managers hear an employee from a minority group expressing what sounds like impostor thoughts, they might want to check to see if there is an inclusion problem. Maybe the minority employee is operating in a hostile, biased, work environment.

To establish whether your impostor thoughts eventually fade away and with them, the benefits they provide, will require more research, but the author suspects that your impostor thoughts and the resulting benefits will never diminish entirely. 

Even extremely successful people like Albert Einstein, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and the writer Maya Angelou publicly admitted to having impostor thoughts from time to time so there will always be powerful environmental triggers that bring them on.

Adapted by “Impostor Syndrome Has Its Advantages: Professor Tewfik, DEFEND YOUR RESEARCH” from Harvard Business Review 202205


Put on a blindfold and see more clearly!

July 15th, 2022 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Put on a blindfold and see more clearly!”
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Would you decide which job candidates to interview based on their names or decide which ventures to fund based on entrepreneurs’ gender or physical attractiveness? 

Few managers would admit doing so, even to themselves. But research shows that decision makers are in fact susceptible to exactly this type of bias. Identical resumes sent in response to job postings are less likely to generate a callback for an interview if the name at the top suggests the candidate is black.

Female entrepreneurs face harsher questions from potential investors and are less likely to have their ideas funded than men. Generally, this body of research demonstrates that the fairness of social evaluations, such as whom to hire, invest in or promote, can be adversely affected by irrelevant and seemingly innocuous attributes, like name or appearance, because of the biases they evoke. 

How might these judgments be made more equitably?

The logic is straight-forward. An evaluator cannot be biased by irrelevant information about a target of evaluation (for instance, a job candidate’s name) if that information is hidden from view.

It is for this reason that Justice is typically depicted wearing a blindfold: The blindfold ensures the impartiality of her decision-making. Over the past several years, researchers have studied both the benefits of and the barriers to blinding in the context of organisational evaluations like hiring decisions and performance reviews. More specifically, they have explored the factors that might influence whether evaluators will choose on their own to use a strategy of blinding in their evaluations. 

In the absence of organisation-wide blinding policies that strictly limit the information people can incorporate into their decisions, policies that are rare and sometimes hard. One way to reduce the potential for bias and increase objectivity is to adopt a decision-making strategy called blinding — that is, limiting the information that can be considered in an evaluation. 

We have found that managers and other evaluators can make fairer and more accurate assessments by proactively blinding themselves to information about a person that could cause bias about a target of evaluation

Evidence that blinding works

By ensuring that only relevant information is available to the evaluator, blinding reduces the likelihood that an evaluator’s judgement can be contaminated or distorted by stereotypes and other forms of unconscious bias.

In a classic example, major symphony orchestras in the United States used blinding to counteract the prevailing negative stereotypes about women in the music world and increase gender diversity.

Blinding strategies can also be used in other organisational settings to increase the fairness and objectivity of evaluations that may otherwise be susceptible to bias and distortion. For instance, some experiments have assessed the impact of anonymous hiring, a policy that conceals candidates’ names from hiring managers.

This research demonstrates that if job applications are stripped of identifying information, members of underrepresented social groups (ethnic minorities and women) become more likely to advance to the interview stage and, in certain cases, ultimately receive job offers.

Adapted from an article by Sean Fath, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University’s ILR School, Richard P. Larrick Hanes Corporation Foundation Professor of Business Administration at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Jack B. Soll professor of management and organisations Fuqua. Susan Zhu  

decisioni strategiche

How can we build a structured approach to strategic decisions?

April 29th, 2022 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “How can we build a structured approach to strategic decisions?”
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Reducing errors in judgement requires a disciplined process. All strategic decisions share a common feature: they are evaluative judgments.  To make such tough calls, people must boil down a large amount of complex information. Strategic decisions tend to involve the distillation of complexity into a single path forward.

Given how unreliable human judgement is, all evaluations are susceptible to errors that may come from known cognitive biases or random errors, sometimes called noise. Unreliability in judgement has long been recognised and studied, particularly in the context of decision-making about hiring. 

Researchers drew inspiration from that body of research and experience to suggest a practical, broadly applicable approach to reducing errors in strategic decision-making. Researchers call it the Mediating Assessments Protocol (MAP). MAP is a structured approach to grounding strategic decisions, like structured interviews, in mediating assessments. It has three core elements:

Define the assessments in advance

The decision maker must identify a handful of mediating assessments, that is, key attributes that are critical to the evaluation. In the decision to acquire a company, for example, the assessments could include anticipated revenue synergies or qualifications of the management team. This process is similar to one a hiring committee would follow when creating a job description that outlines the attributes required for success in the position.

Use fact-based, independently made assessments 

People who weigh in on one aspect of a strategic option should not be influenced by one another or by other dimensions of the option. Their opinions should be grounded in the evidence available. 

This approach is comparable to a wellorganised structured interview process, in which job seekers are scored on each key attribute solely on the basis of their answers to relevant questions, calibrated using predefined scales.

Make the final evaluation when the mediating assessments are complete

Unless a dealbreaker fact is uncovered (for instance, evidence of accounting fraud at the acquisition target), the final decision should be discussed only when all key attributes have been scored and a complete profile of assessments is available. 

This is similar to having a hiring committee review all the evaluations made by each interviewer on each key requirement of the job description before making a decision on a candidate. The use of mediating assessments reduces variability in decision-making because it seeks to address the limitations of mental model formation, even though it cannot eliminate them entirely. 

By delineating the assessments clearly and in a fact based, independent manner, and delaying final judgement until all assessments are finished, MAP tempers the effects of bias and increases the transparency of the process, as all the assessments are presented at one time to all decision makers. 

For example, because salient or recent pieces of information are not given undue weight, the process preempts the availability bias.  MAP also reduces the risk that a solution will be judged by its similarity with known categories or stereotypes (an error arising from the representativeness bias). When differentiated, independent facts are clearly laid out, logical errors are less likely. 

Some decision makers will have an initial dislike for MAP, just as many recruiters still resist structured interviewing. Structured decision making, based on mediating assessments, will be adopted only if it is viewed as offering a substantial improvement in decision-making quality. Accordingly, we next examine MAP’s application and benefits in two types of strategy decisions: large one-off decisions made by teams of executives or directors, and recurrent decisions made as part of formalised processes that, in aggregate, shape a company’s strategy.

Deliberately Developmental Organisation

Deliberately Developmental Organisation: turn your employees’ struggles into growth opportunities

April 12th, 2022 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Deliberately Developmental Organisation: turn your employees’ struggles into growth opportunities”
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Do you ever consider that most people at work are doing a second job that no one’s paying them to do? A job that includes preserving their reputations, putting their best selves forward and hiding their inadequacies?

Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey, Andy Fleming and Matthew Miller, the authors of this research, believe that this could be the biggest cause of wasted resources in nearly every company today. 

Most people expend a lot of energy at work attempting to hide their inadequacies from colleagues.  But what if companies instead created a culture in which people could see their mistakes not as vulnerabilities but as prime opportunities for personal growth?

What if a company was set up in such a way that instead of hiding their weaknesses, employees used them as opportunities for both personal and business growth?

Researchers suggest that it’s possible to meld business growth with personal growth in every employee’s day-to-day work. Researchers found only a handful of firms where people see their mistakes not as vulnerabilities but as prime opportunities for growth.

Two stood out: Bridgewater Associates, an East Coast investment firm and the Decurion Corporation, a West Coast real estate manager, cinema operator, and senior living centre owner. Both companies are committed to developing every one of their people by weaving personal growth into daily work and both are highly successful businesses. The authors spent hundreds of hours observing their practices and interviewing employees at all levels. 

What they saw was people working together, in meetings, in one-on-one sessions, and in the course of their everyday work, to get at the root causes of problems and devise more productive ways of doing things. 

Many companies conduct root cause analysis but stop short of crossing into an employee’s interior world, where so many problems begin; for example, a tendency to avoid confrontation, to act before thinking things through, to be overly aggressive if one’s ideas are criticised, and other counterproductive thinking and behaviour. If you are a leader who wants to build a DDO, you should understand that you can’t want it just for the company.

You must want it for yourself. You must be prepared to participate fully and even go first in making your own limitations public. You must also not just want it to generate extraordinary business results. You must put equal value on leading a company that contributes to the flourishing of its people as an end in itself. 

At Decurion and Bridgewater, everyone from the CEOs on down to the teenage ushers works on identifying and overcoming these patterns as part of doing the job well.

Adapted from “Making Business Personal” by Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey, Andy Fleming and Matthew Miller – HBR 201404

test della personalità

Why might personality tests be useless in assessing potential?

March 31st, 2022 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Why might personality tests be useless in assessing potential?”
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The most recent review of a century’s worth of research on selection methods, found that tests of general mental ability  are the best available predictors of job performance, especially when paired with an integrity test. Yet, assessing candidates’ and employees’ potential presents significant challenges. People Metrics Are Hard to Get Right. For all the promise these techniques hold, it’s difficult to measure something as complex as a person for several reasons.

Multiple valid and reliable personality tests have been carefully calibrated to measure one or more character traits. These traditional psychological assessments are usually designed to help figure out whether a person is more or less intelligent or extraverted than their peers, for example. In other words, the assessments are meant to capture differences between people. 

But several studies have found that, during a two-week period, there can be even more variation within one individual’s personality than there is from person to person.

People change, and not always when you expect them to. The allure of aptitude, intelligence, and personality tests is that they purport to tell us something stable and enduring about who people are and what they are capable of. Test makers (usually) go to great lengths to make sure people who take the test more than once get a similar score the second time around. 

Yet compelling evidence suggests that people can learn how to learn, sometimes in ways we didn’t anticipate. We can also shift our personalities in one direction or another (at least to some degree, though not always without cost) for both near-term benefits and longer-term goals. 

Interestingly, one recent study with more than 13,000 participants found that people tend to become more conscientious right before getting a new job, which is conveniently around the time a hiring manager would be trying to figure out how hard they would work if they landed the role.

The nature of the task can matter more than the nature of the person. Most of us have heard the theory that we each have a preferred learning style, and the more we can use the one that fits, the more we’ll remember. Unfortunately, virtually no evidence supports that theory. That doesn’t mean that all approaches to studying are equally effective, it’s just that the strategy that works best often depends more on the task than on the person. 

Similarly, different parts of our personalities can serve different types of goals. We act extraverted when we want to connect with others or seize an opportunity, and we become disciplined when we want to get something done or avoid mistakes.

Given the findings mentioned above about how much people’s behaviour can change from one situation to the next, it might seem paradoxical to even try to find something enduring about a person’s character. 

But just because personality is dynamic does not mean it is not definable or not worth exploring. Some researchers have proposed using if-then questionnaires to detect nuanced patterns in each person’s personality profile, although such techniques have yet to be well-tested in the workplace.

A better approach might be to take repeated measures from the same employees over time. That is often easier said than done, given the challenges many organisations face in getting employees to fill out even a single survey. If the participation problem can be overcome, however, repeated measures can lead to insights about what people are like in general and the ways in which they vary that one time surveys simply can’t generate.

Adapted by “Can We Really Test People for Potential?” By Reb Rebele – MIT Sloan Management Review 201903 – Spring 2019 

intelligenza artificiale

Could your job be done by artificial intelligence?

March 24th, 2022 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Could your job be done by artificial intelligence?”
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Even if your job is high paying, it is wise to ask yourself whether it is common and repetitive enough to be done by a machine. If you conclude that it is, maybe it’s time to look for or create less commoditised work!

For many organisations today, the next big driver of job commoditisation is automation driven by smart machines.

Simply put, if a job is viewed as a commodity, it won’t be long before it is automated. 

Thomas H. Davenport’s research on automation through artificial intelligence (AI) or cognitive technologies suggests that, if a job with fairly routine duties can be outsourced, many of the tasks typically performed by the worker can probably be automated, even by relatively dumb technologies like robotic process automation. 

As an example, financial services is ripe for automation, given that many activities are relatively structured and there is relatively little product differentiation. Given this, there are both low-value and high-value commodity jobs in the financial industry and some of the lower-value ones, such as bank tellers, have been disappearing for a while, even if slowly. According to Hedge Fund Research Inc. in Chicago, Illinois some of the high-value jobs are being commoditised as well.

Sophisticated algorithms have begun to replace financial traders and hedge fund managers and about one-third of hedge fund assets are managed in that way. The result is that a robo-adviser, a machine that recommends investments to customers, has begun to replace human financial advisers. 

As customers turn to mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other passive investments, it’s relatively easy to determine an appropriate portfolio for consumers, rebalance it for asset allocation preferences, and harvest tax losses, all with little or no human intervention.

Since most financial markets are digital, machines can easily determine which investments perform best. Intuition and personal experience in picking investments count for little. So, even traditionally well-paid financial jobs are becoming commoditised and, as a consequence, automated.  Despite this, automation often takes longer than we expect because organisational inertia can be high, because all jobs are slightly different from one another, and because people find ways to differentiate themselves.

So, how can we protect our work from becoming a commoditised job?

Start to focus on the most human aspects of your tasks, those that are most difficult to automate. In the financial world, for example, this often involves understanding human beings and the poor financial decisions they frequently make.  One of Thomas H. Davenport’s students defined this as “financial psychiatry,” but a more academically respectable name is “behavioural finance.” 

Financial advisers who understand behavioural finance can focus not on selecting investments for their clients, but on talking them off the cliff when they’re ready to “sell everything” after a market decline, or other careless financial decisions.

Or they can address the tricky problem of reconciling the differing risk tolerances of husbands and wives. Tackling such complex and emotional issues is not likely to be taken over by machines anytime soon!

Paradoxically, workers in finance and other industries that have high paying, specialised jobs can also make themselves less commoditised by helping with the commoditisation process. If they’re good at structuring decisions and understanding how those are represented in computers, they will have jobs for quite a while.

They’ll be able to monitor machine-based decisions, pick up the ball when the machines drop it (because of missing data, for example) and perhaps even improve machines’ decision making over time. It’s very difficult to predict how quickly jobs of various types will become commodities and how quickly the humans who perform them will be replaced by machines. 

Jobs are comprised of a set of tasks, only some of which are usually automated. 

Automation often takes longer than we expect because organisational inertia can be high, because all jobs are slightly different from one another, and because people find ways to differentiate themselves. 

But no matter what your field, it pays to ask yourself whether your job is common and repetitive enough to be done by a machine. If you conclude that it is, it’s time to look for or create less commoditised work.

Adapted by an article written by Thomas H. Davenport President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College in Babson Park, Massachusetts, as well as a fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy – MIT Sloan Management Review 201804

Come la tecnica delle affermazioni può migliorare la tua vita

January 10th, 2022 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Come la tecnica delle affermazioni può migliorare la tua vita”
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Jim McCarthy definisce le affermazioni come dichiarazioni specifiche e positive al tempo presente in prima persona su ciò che in un certo momento amiamo o vorremmo amare di noi stessi. È un modo per visualizzare e concentrarsi sulle nostre aspirazioni e i nostri obiettivi riguardo all’essere e poi pensare ripetutamente a quello stato desiderato, perché si determini. Le affermazioni sono un modo diretto e pratico per collegare prima il cervello e poi i comportamenti alla felicità e al successo.

Se ci  svegliamo ogni mattina e diciamo a noi stessi: “Sono brutto. Sono sempre malato. Io sono stupido. Alla gente non piaccio. I miei colleghi mi odiano. Il mio capo è un incapace. Odio prendere l’autobus. Questa città fa schifo. Il sistema è viziato”, come risultato della neuroplasticità, i nostri circuiti cerebrali si collegheranno, si rafforzeranno e accelereranno per rafforzare questi messaggi.

D’altra parte, svegliarsi ogni mattina e dirsi: “Sono bello. Sono sano. Sono brillante. Mi trovo benissimo con le persone. Mi diverto con i miei colleghi. Faccio un lavoro di qualità per il mio capo. Apprezzo vivere qui. Vedo la bellezza nelle cose più semplici della vita. Faccio del mio meglio in questa società. Anzi, sono felice di essere vivo… altri neuroni specifici nel nostro cervello si attiveranno e rafforzeranno esattamente quei messaggi.

Il ciclo è semplice:

  1. Il modo in cui pensiamo influisce su come ci  sentiamo.
  2. Come ci sentiamom influenza il modo in cui ci comportiamo.
  3. Il modo in cui ci comportiamo continua a influenzare 1) come pensiamo, poi 2) come ci sentiamo, e il ciclo continua”.

“Quando ti suggerisco di fare affermazioni, non ti sto chiedendo di diventare un egocentrico narcisista, ce ne sono già troppi nella nostra società!” Scrive Mc Carthy. “Invece, ti sto incoraggiando ad acquisire un’umile fiducia – o un’umiltà fiduciosa – che ti dia il permesso di superare le tue negatività e ti aiuti a concentrarti su te stesso.”

Per fare affermazioni, prima dobbiamo essere in grado di definire ciò che amiamo di noi stessi. Oppure, a cosa aspiriamo. La formulazione è molto importante se vogliamo che la neuroplasticità del nostro cervello funzioni a nostro favore.

Ecco alcuni esempi, sempre dal libro di Jim McCarthy “Live Every Day: A Surprisingly Simple Guide to Happiness”:


Potresti dire:

“Posso essere promosso quest’anno”.

Ma è meglio dire:

“Io sono il nuovo manager”

È più efficace, perché stai affermando questo come un dato di fatto, piuttosto che qualcosa che “può” accadere.


Potresti dire:

“Voglio essere un a sorella (o un fratello) migliore”.

Ma è più forte se dici:

“Sono una sorella (o un fratello) comprensiva”.

Potresti anche dire

“Chiamo i miei fratelli ogni dieci giorni”,

Il che è eccellente, perché ti spinge a creare un promemoria ricorrente per farlo. Potrebbe essere difficile sapere sarai veramente comprensiva o meno. Ma se chiami i tuoi fratelli regolarmente, probabilmente diventerai una sorella o fratello migliore.


Potresti dire:

“Perderò 2 chili.”

“Ma la “volontà” è più una promessa o una speranza e meno una constatazione di fatto.

Forse è meglio scrivere:

“Faccio scelte salutari”

… dal momento che puoi agire in base a questo in qualsiasi momento della giornata e hai meno probabilità di sentirti frustrato se non hai ancora perso quei 15 chili.


La tua affermazione può essere:

“Vorrei essere felice”.

Ma “vorrei” non è un dato di fatto.

“Merito di essere felice” è un’alternativa migliore, che ti apre un intero mondo di affermazioni per le cose buone che meriti.


Ricorda che non dovresti formulare un’affermazione con una negazione, altrimenti rafforzerai proprio ciò che non vuoi si avveri.

Quindi invece di affermare:

“Non sono arrabbiato per il passato”,

… molto meglio:

“Sono grato per tutte le esperienze della mia vita”

Il cervello prende la forma su cui poggia la mente. Ad esempio, appoggi regolarmente la tua mente sulle preoccupazioni, l’autocritica e la rabbia, quindi il tuo cervello prenderà gradualmente la forma – e cioè svilupperà strutture e dinamiche neurali – di ansia, bassa autostima e reattività verso gli altri. Invece, se appoggi regolarmente la mente, sul fatto che stai bene in un certo momento, vedi il buono in te stesso e sul lasciar perdere ciò che non ti piace… allora il tuo cervello prenderà gradualmente la forma di calma, forza, fiducia in te stesso e pace interiore.

Adattato da: Jim McCarthy, Live Every Day: A Sorprendentemente Semplice Guida alla Felicità, Happiness Media LLC

How your inner speech shapes your thoughts and decisions

December 29th, 2021 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “How your inner speech shapes your thoughts and decisions”
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Charles Fernyhough is a writer and psychologist at Durham University. He directs Hearing the Voice (, a project on voice-hearing and inner speech funded by the Wellcome Trust. 

In his study, conducted in 2011 at Durham University, UK, Dr. Fernyhough and his colleague Simon McCarthy-Jones found that 60 per cent of people report that their inner speech has the same  quality of a conversation. Inner speech has some very special properties. Much of modern research has been inspired by the long-neglected theories of L. S. Vygotsky, a Russian psychologist whose career unfolded in the early days of the Soviet Union.

Starting with observations of children talking to themselves while playing, Vygotsky hypothesised that this “private speech” develops out of social dialogue with parents and caregivers. Over time, these private mutterings become further internalised to form inner speech.

Vygotsky proposed that inner speech undergoes some important transformations as it becomes internalised, such as becoming abbreviated or condensed relative to external speech. For instance, when hearing a loud metallic sound outside at night and realising that the cat is to blame, you probably wouldn’t say to yourself, “The cat has knocked the dustbin over.” Instead, you might just say, “The cat,” since that utterance contains all the information you need to express to yourself.

Because it develops from social interactions, self talk takes on some of the qualities of a dialogue, an exchange between different points of view.

Vygotsky’s theory also suggests some possibilities about the way inner speech is created in the brain. If it is derived from external speech, as he proposed, both might be expected to activate the same neural networks. 

One of Vygotsky’s most important finding was that private and inner speech give us a way of taking control of our own behaviour, by using words to direct our actions. While driving up to a roundabout in busy traffic, for example says Dr. Fernyhough, I’ll still tell myself, “Give way to the right”. 

Therefore, improving our inner speech means improving our behaviour.

Inner speech can foster our personal growth when used to make plans and improve self awareness.

People with autism, meanwhile, who often have problems with linguistic communication, seem not to use inner speech for planning, although they do use it for other purposes such as short-term memory. A more dramatic difficulty comes from damage to the language areas of the brain, which can silence some people’s inner voices. One such individual, neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, reported a lack of self-awareness after a stroke that damaged her language system – supporting the view that verbal thinking may be important for self-understanding and self control.

Adapted by Life in the chatter box, New Scientist, June 2013


The 3 most common career-limiting habits

May 19th, 2021 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “The 3 most common career-limiting habits”
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One study conducted by VitalSmarts (a corporate training and leadership development firm) discovered that 97% of us have at least one career-limiting habit, something that keeps us from greater success or enjoyment in our career.


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