How Candles & Tacks Can Help Us Re-Think Economics, Healthcare & Everything Else

Daniel Pink recently gave a TED talk about the insights into motivation gleaned from new research into the  Candle Problem (read up on it before continuing). Functional Fixedness is a common problem with the way our brains are wired. The Candle Problem, and the novel research Daniel Pink discusses, demonstrates how the fundamental assumptions that we make underpin our ways of thinking. Often, they undermine our efforts to make a better word.

When thinking about how we accomplish our mutual goals, what assumptions are we making? How many books and theories and political lines of thought rest on assumptions that were never vetted via scientific challenges?

How many fields could this new understanding of our motivations serve better?

  • Could we work towards a better economic system?
  • Could our provision of health care be vastly improved?
  • Could Marketing become more human and effective?
  • Could organizations develop more creative environments for their employees?

Ideas are incredibly influential – for good or ill. How many of the ideas we have in our heads are misleading us in almost everything we do? Counter-intuition is a difficult but important skill to develop.

Whether it’s Health Care or Social Media or the growth of our Finance Sector or Economic Theory, don’t we owe it to ourselves to vigilantly seek out and question the basic assumptions we make?

How can you use these observations about the Candle Problem to improve (or radically upturn) what you do with your business or your life?

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