The Power of Noticing by Max Bazerman – main ideas and learnings

Can you imagine what advantage you would have in negotiations, decision-making, and leadership if you could teach yourself to see and evaluate information that others overlooked? The Power of Noticing provides the blueprint for accomplishing precisely that. Max Bazerman, an expert in the field of applied behavioral psychology, draws on three decades of research and his experience instructing Harvard Business School MBAs and corporate executives to teach you how to notice and act on information that may not be immediately obvious.

Some of the most important ideas and learnings that Max Bazerman presents in his book are:

Human beings have an amazing capacity to ignore clear warning signs of others' unethical behaviour,therefore is important to always be alert and pay attention to details and the history behind us.

Leaders often fail to notice when they are obsessed by other issues,when they are motivated not to notice and when there are other people in the environment working hard to keep them from noticing. Still, it is the responsibility of leaders to notice when things are going wrong in their organization. If you see an anomalous trend, investigate until you are given a clear answer. It is the job of the leader to identify what information is needed and how to obtain it,rather than acting on the information that is in the room. 

Put it on your agenda to notice. Focusing is good, but sometimes you need to take a look around.

Extensive research demonstrates that our desires influence the way we interpret information, even when we are trying to be objective and impartial.

Take an outsider’s view.

Audit your organization.

Identify changes that will help to create a noticing organization.

When something is wrong, figure out what it is.

Acting to prevent predictable surprises:

  • recognize the threat
  • prioritize the threat
  • mobilize action