Focused

By Niall Maher

Idea Meritocracy, How Caffeine Works and...

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Idea Meritocracy, How Caffeine Works and...
By Niall Maher • Issue #35 • View online
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” - Richard Feynman

Last week I finished Principles by Ray Dalio.
The one big thing that Rays’ principles build is an “Idea Meritocracy.”
An Idea Meritocracy is not a democracy; it is a system where the best idea wins (and does not need a complete consensus).
In most businesses, we rely too heavily on the most senior voice in the room rather than weighing the best options.
And the beauty of this system is that we can admit that even the best people make mistakes sometimes, but we can catch this early and often by taking in multiple points of view.
Although we open ourselves up to multiple views, we weigh ideas based on a couple of things to stop it from becoming a popularity contest.
We should be able to admit that not all ideas and opinions are equal (remember, this is not a democracy); we seek the best and most believable answer.
We can have a heavy weight in favor of people who have repeatedly (and successfully) accomplished the thing in question (at least three times) or can demonstrate well that they can logically explain the cause-effect relationships behind their conclusion.
Ray has a list of tools and systems he uses to come up with the best odds of getting at the truth and best answers but to summarise in Ray’s own words:
To have an Idea Meritocracy
1) Put your honest thoughts on the table
2) Have a thoughtful disagreement
3) Abide by agreed-upon ways of getting past disagreement
Suppose you are currently running an autocracy or democracy in the workplace. In that case, I think the idea meritocracy is the perfect system to cut through the noise and deliver the most value.
How Caffeine Works
Neuroscientist: How Caffeine Works and What It Does to Your Body
Neuroscientist: How Caffeine Works and What It Does to Your Body
What I've been reading 📖
App/Site of the week 🗓
Password Management for Individuals and Families | Bitwarden
It was my birthday last week! 🎂
Niall Maher
I did my first escape room yesterday. 👏

I’m shocked we aren’t all still in it to be honest. 😂 https://t.co/ymAEF3JYz4
I turned 31 last week!
But since I wrote my newsletter before I was thrown a surprise party by my better half I didn’t update many people.
End ❤️
That’s all for this week, have a great week ahead, and I’ll chat with you next week! 👋
You can always reply to this email if you want to say hello or get in touch. 💌
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Niall Maher

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