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Think Talk Create

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Think Talk Create

Building Workplaces Fit for Humans

Public Affairs,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Companies should step back from their obsession with data to create room for conversation, empathy and understanding.

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  • Eye Opening
  • Visionary
  • Engaging


Management consultants David Brendel and Ryan Stelzer make a comprehensive, heartfelt appeal for evidence-based decision-making that relies on quantitative data analysis combined with wisdom derived from slow thinking, conversation and co-creation of ideas. They call their method “active inquiry,” and they created a model that enables you to practice it. Through stories and findings from neuroscience and psychology, the authors argue that psychologically safe organizations create better workplaces, greater profits – and even solutions to the existential challenges facing humanity.


Make better decisions by balancing the quantitative with the qualitative.

Quantitative evidence, math and data analyses have vastly improved life for billions of people. Advances in medicine, computing, finance – and most everything else – benefited from quantitative analysis. On their own, however, numbers tell an incomplete story because they omit empathy and dehumanize organizations. 

Unfortunately, in the pursuit of metrics, many firms have embraced a singular focus on data-based decision-making – worshipping at the altar of numbers while ignoring joy, inspiration and creativity.

An obsession with shareholder value has brought capitalism and society to the brink.

In 1970, University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman released an influential paper telling CEOs their only responsibility was generating returns for investors. Harvard professor Michael Jansen extended Friedman’s work in 1990 when he aligned executive interests with shareholders by suggesting companies pay leaders in stock options. 

CEO’s relentless pursuit of shareholder value has driven a deep, widening ...

About the Authors

David Brendel and Ryan Stelzer are co-founders at Strategy of Mind, a management consultancy rooted in philosophy and psychology.

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