By John Metzger

I’ve recently read a book titled, “ Thinking, Fast and Slow. The author is Daniel Kahneman, a Professor of Psychology at Princeton University and a 2002 Nobel Prize recipient in Economic Sciences, for his theory on decision-making. I thought his theories were very interesting and important to understand for any businessperson.

Professor Kahneman defines, for this purpose; the mind working is two ways, which he calls simply System 1 and System 2. System 1 is our intuitive mode where we jump to a conclusion and sometimes react emotionally. System 2 is when we are more reflective by analyzing data and taking more time to reach a conclusion.

The book gives many examples to make the point that quick thinking about something that seems obvious may, in fact be incorrect. Here’s a brief example. Try to figure out if the conclusion follows from the premise.

All roses are flowers.
Some flowers fade quickly.
Therefore some roses fade quickly.

Many people seeing this will agree that it makes sense to reach the conclusion that the roses will fade quickly. However the author points out that it is not that obvious because the example doesn’t state that there are roses in the sample population of flowers. More thought and questioning would be necessary to reach a more accurate conclusion.

Now how does this relate to your everyday business life? Well, some of the things that you do or think may not be the best things for your business. Do you really understand your customer’s wants and needs? How are you making key decisions? Are you making them on instinct or on some form of objective data?

What I took away from this book is that data is almost always the best way to reach a conclusion. My suggestion, to you, is collect as much information as you can when trying to offer a product or service. The easiest way to do this is just ask as many of your customers and friends what they think about your product or service. This is not the best way, but at least it gives you some data to consider. Better techniques are focus groups and surveys.

The net message here is that a little investment in time and money will in most cases produce better results. Taking the time to think more thoroughly through a task pays off. There’s an old saying that,” There’s never enough time to do something right, but always enough time to do it over.”

John Metzger is President of GPSG Consulting
Email: jmetzger@gpsginc.com
Phone: 203-438-6444


Good news comes this month in terms of the recovering economy. Our friend, Nicholas Perna, of Webster Bank released his hopeful May/June newsletter .  Perna informs us that jobs are beginning to recover! While productivity has slowed, that only means businesses will have to ramp up hiring even if  the GDP continues to grow. “This seems to have already started, with payroll jobs increasing well over 200,000 during each of the past few months,” said Perna. If the job market grows, the housing market is predicted to grow as well. Below is the National Recovery Scorecard for May/June. The rest of Perna’s newsletter can be found here: Economic Review by Nick Perna

Other good news comes this week for employment from UCONN’s Center for Continuing Studies. Their study took a look into the nonprofit sector of employment in the state.  The nonprofit sector employs 10% of Connecticut’s workforce, approximately 150,000 jobs.  Of the Greater Hartford nonprofit organizations surveyed, 77% expect to be hiring within in the next year. For a list of nonprofit organizations in Ridgefield, view the Chamber directory!




Summerfest Cruise Night 

July 15, 2011 

6-9 PM in Downtown Ridgefield, 21 Governor Street

Free Admission, Music and Refreshments

For more information click here!

The Chamber of Commerce is looking for focus group volunteers to offer comments and opinions on its soon to be “Destination Ridgefield” campaign. Help get the word out about all Ridgefield has to offer. For more information and to register visit Events on the chamber website.

Top 3 Reasons to Shop Local, Shop Ridgefield 

  1. Build Community: Local businesses build a strong neighborhood by sustaining the local community and contributing to local causes.
  2. Support jobs: supporting local businesses provides support to the jobs they provide. The Chamber represents nearly 3,500 employees.
  3. Eco-Friendly: Shopping locally reduces your gas consumption and pollution. Also, walkable downtown Ridgefield helps to reduce the need for automobiles.
Support the community and shop locally! 

Did you know…

The Chamber represents: 

  • 410 members & 3,500 employees
  • Companies of all sizes and industries, from every corner of Ridgefield and the surrounding areas.
The Chamber delivers: 
  • Hundreds of annual referrals to member companies
  • 12,000 Directory & Shopping Guides which advertise your business 365 days a year
  • Credibility to your business and reflects your commitment to the Ridgefield community
  • An Ambassador program which welcomes new members with ribbon-cutting ceremonies and a mentor to guide and integrate them into the fabric of the business community
  • Highly successful Gift of Choice  certificate program that drives business to participants
  • Networking opportunities for local businesses through breakfasts, luncheons and other fun events!