Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Dilbert's course in Comparing

Anyone who has attended one of my training courses will know that I think that Scott Adams' Dilbert cartoon is not only very funny, but very imformative. (and used by permission of Scott Adams himself, in case you were worrying).

Scott Adams also has a blog, which is generally more serious than the cartoon (not a high bar), where he often raises sensitive and/or controversial issues and floats some quite radical ideas. I am sure he would be pleased to know that I don't agree with everything he writes (I suspect he would be dissapointed if people did), but one of his recent posts I think is really on the money.

He suggests a course in Comparing alternatives. The aim is to make people better at resolving disagreements, and generally make the world more effective. In particular it would allow us to see through some of the standard rhetorical tricks used by politicians of all stances and (I hope) have more sensible debates on policy.

The agenda he suggests here would also be very useful training for business. In both management as a whole, and for procurement in particular, I think being able to conduct sensible comparisons - and to understand valid and invalid arguments - is absolutely essential.

A good grounding in formal Logic is really rather helpful in negotiations as well. An extremely useful free resource for this is available on Itunes - a 6 part programme called Critical Reasoning for Beginners, from Oxford University. It is also available on the Oxford University website as both audio and video podcasts here. It is delivered by Marianne Talbot.

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