Dec. 28, 2020

Gerald Ashley & Rory Sutherland on Prosilience

Gerald Ashley & Rory Sutherland on Prosilience

What is Prosilience, and how can organisations ensure their people provide it?

That’s where the discussion between my guests on this episode, Gerald Ashley and Rory Sutherland, begins. Where it goes from there, is a joyous adventure in which two...


What is Prosilience, and how can organisations ensure their people provide it?

That’s where the discussion between my guests on this episode, Gerald Ashley and Rory Sutherland, begins. Where it goes from there, is a joyous adventure in which two great thinkers explore a range of Human Risk related topics.

* Listener Warning: the episode contains adult language *

This episode is the 100th in the Human Risk podcast series and is a continuation of a discussion which began in the 99th episode. I recommend listening to that first before exploring this one.

You'll find my earlier discussion with Rory here: https://www.podpage.com/the-human-risk-podcast/rory-sutherland-on-compliance/
and Gerald here: https://www.podpage.com/the-human-risk-podcast/gerald-ashley-on-uncertainty/

As with the previous episode, I’m providing more detailed show notes given the breadth and depth of issues covered.

05:18 Rory refers to Seeing Like A State by James C Scott. More on that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seeing_Like_a_State

05:54 Gerald talks about the metrics used to measure Soviet bicycle manufacturing. This article doesn’t feature bicycles, but covers the idea and features a wonderful cartoon from a Soviet magazine: https://econlife.com/2015/08/the-incentives-that-metrics-create/

09:32 Rory talks about his appearance on Bloomberg TV. You can watch that here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2015-03-25/advertisers-becoming-too-obsessed-with-tech-sutherland

11:50 Rory mentions Rod Liddell in the context of a story about the BBC’s travel policy. To learn more about Rod: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Liddle

12:34 Gerald mentions Peter Turchin, who Rory explains is a Cliodynamicist. You’ll find Peter’s website here: http://peterturchin.com/ and a guide to Cliodynamics one that website here: http://peterturchin.com/cliodynamics/

14:10 A rare intervention by me to mention David Graber’s book Bullshit Jobs - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs

14:30 Rory refers to 14th Century Middle Eastern Historian Ibn Khaldoun - https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ibn-Khaldun

15:04 Gerald talks about The Great Wave by David Hackett Fischer - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Wave_(book)

18:25 Rory talks about Daniel Kahneman’s research into risk appetites of CEOs and division heads. You can read more about that in this HBR article: https://hbr.org/2020/03/your-company-is-too-risk-averse

19:40 Gerald talks about the Lockheed Martin Skunkworks. You can read about the history of that unit here https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/news/features/history/skunk-works.html and its current role here: