Reading List: The Power of Noticing

UPDATED: August 23, 2014
PUBLISHED: August 23, 2014

Failure to notice and register what we observe can be a conduit to “poor personal decisions, organizational crises and societal disasters,” writes Max Bazerman, co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. The Power of Noticing is based on a combination of the executive decision-making class Bazerman teaches, extensive research, firsthand experiences and his own “journey to become a first-class ‘noticer.’ ”

Bazerman delves into recent headline-making stories to illustrate how subconscious blind spots impact what we see and what we miss. He reveals the techniques and tactics he developed to help his students and corporate clients awaken their abilities to recognize critical data and connections as well as improve their decision-making and leadership skills.

“Noticing information that others do not often involves breaking barriers, rules and norms that need to be broken,” Bazerman writes. For example: Your doctor prescribes a medication to lower your high blood pressure. The drug works. The only drawback is that with each dose, you experience an annoying though temporary side effect. Your doctor asks, “Can you live with that?” Should you? Or is there an alternative you haven’t considered? The answers will surprise you.

This book helps readers recognize when to seek more information and learn how to “open [their] eyes and truly notice for the first time.”

by Max Bazerman

Simon & Schuster; $28

Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.