TLF Gems Newsletter September 2022

Your monthly CX and insight newsletter from TLF Research

When an orator, by the mere magic of words and a golden voice, persuades his audience of the rightness of a bad cause we are very properly shocked. We ought to feel the same dismay whenever we find the same irrelevant tricks being used to persuade people of the rightness of a good cause.

Aldous Huxley

How rational are we? If you spend too much time reading pop science articles about behavioural economics, you could quickly draw the conclusion that every decision we make is unconscious, emotional, and subject to hundreds of biases.

That's true, of course, as far as it goes. And yet we're perfectly capable of choosing a TV that suits our needs, buying a train ticket to London when we want one, and avoiding a restaurant we had a bad experience in. Most of our decisions as customers, I believe, are as conscious and rational as they need to be.

Thanks for reading,


Here are 7 things we think are worth your time this month

EX = CX2

It won't be news to our readers that employee experience and customer experience are strongly linked, but this Marketing Week report is worth a look. "The difference between market leaders and the rest of the pack is in making sure there is a structure, a direction and an understanding of what actions and mindsets lead to success, and how to achieve them."

Read: EX = CX2

Building Team Culture

An excellent edition of David Epstein's newsletter, featuring a conversation with Daniel Coyle about building team culture (including some tips for remote working). "Crisis is the best engine ever created to generate clarity — which is why so many great cultures (Pixar, San Antonio Spurs, New Zealand All-Blacks, to name a few) can trace their origin to a specific crisis that created new norms, habits, and structures that became the foundation of their success."

Read: Building Team Culture

A Moonshot To Fix Capitalism

Great episode of the Adam Buxton podcast (of which I am a big fan) in which he interviews the economist Mariana Mazzucato. I found this fascinating, important, and surprisingly positive as she explains what has gone wrong with capitalism, and how we could go about taking a "moonshot" approach to fixing it. "The root of the problems is that...first of all we have a business sector which is over-financialised...then we have a finance problem...but we also have a government crisis."

Listen: A Moonshot To Fix Capitalism

Those Pesky Question Askers

Interesting short blog about how experienced people often ask a lot of questions, because their experience tells them they need to push for more information in order to make good decisions. This can be frustrating, but it's important to engage with it. "Experienced people have lots of questions. Beginners also have lots of questions. It is people in the middle that often don't have lots of questions."

Read: Those Pesky Question Askers

A More Greyscale World

An interesting twitter thread looking at the evidence that the world, from cars to clothes and interior design, has become more greyscale. "If you feel like the world seems increasingly colourless, you're not just imagining it."

Read: A More Greyscale World

Top Reads: Thinking, Fast and Slow

I was slightly amazed to see that I haven't yet featured this in Top Reads, because it certainly belongs there. This is one of the most important books ever written, laying out the two decision-making systems working in our brains, and the biases and mistakes they dispose us to. The only caveat is that you should pretty much ignore Chapter 4 on behavioural priming, much of which was based on underpowered studies which have failed to replicate (as Kahneman himself acknowledges). "This is the essence of intuitive heuristics: when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution."

If you'd ever like to have a look at our list of past Top Reads, they're all catalogued on our website here - enough reading to keep anyone going for a while!

Top Reads: Thinking, Fast and Slow