The Semmelweis Reflex: when current beliefs trump new knowledge

Why do we often want to stick with our current beliefs, even when new knowledge seems to contradict them? Why does dogmatic belief habitually trump objective evidence? This effect is called the Semmelweis reflex, which Thomas Szasz described as “the invincible social power of false truths”—a phenomenon so dangerous it has caused many deaths throughout …

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The ambidextrous mindset: how to balance exploration and exploitation

People who can both innovate and optimize are an extremely rare breed. Innovating requires a taste for risk taking and experimentation; optimizing calls for an altogether different skill set, mostly reliant on refinement and efficiency. That’s known as the exploration-exploitation dilemma. Great innovators are not always great managers. This is a common story: a founder …

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The collective brain: where does innovation come from?

Plato, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Mary Shelley, Frida Kahlo… When we think about the most famous thinkers, inventors, and creators in history, we often picture one specific individual—a genius who uncovered something new where nobody was looking. However, this poetic vision of the innovator as a solo explorer doesn’t reflect the reality of humanity’s …

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