Learning from the past

by Helene Russell

Should knowledge workers and leaders play poker? In this article Helene Russell, knowledge, learning and innovation specialist, considers the “description experience gap” and whether learning poker can help.

I recently listened to “Future You”, part of this series about thinking by Prof Steven Pinker, expecting something useful for my New Year’s resolutions.

In fact, it was primarily about future discounting in decision making, in particular, how poorly people assess risk based on numbers, in comparison to risk based on personal experience* (“the description experience gap”).

It’s something we often discuss in relation to storytelling for knowledge sharing or influencing as KMers, but I enjoyed hearing Dr Kournikova, psychologist and poker champion, discuss how useful poker has been for her to gain personal experience of what a 1% or 2% edge means, so that she can understand levels of risk in different situations where she doesn’t have personal experience.

Perhaps we should all learn a little poker? What do you think?

With lots of other interesting thoughts relevant to knowledge sharing in the podcast, it’s definitely worth 30 mins of your time. In fact, any Open University podcast that manages to include quotes from The Simpsons definitely gets my vote.

* It’s obviously not as simple as “experience = good” “numbers = bad” for decision-making and risk assessment, but listen to the podcast and let me know what you think!

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by Helene Russell

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