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Curious Minds at Work

Arts • Science • Business

Fascinating thinkers changing the world one book at a time. Host Gayle Allen tracks down these amazing non-fiction authors and explores their curious minds at work.

Popular episodes

CM 202: Anne Helen Petersen on the Peril and Promise of Working from Home

Dec 6 • 41:10
Just a few years ago, the possibility of working from anywhere made us wistful. With family and friends, we’d play the “what if” game: What if we could work from home? What if we could live somewhere warmer? What if we could move to another country?

When the pandemic hit and remote work made “what if” possible, some responded, “why not?” And that’s when things got complicat...

CM 201: Rob Cross on Collaboration Overload

Nov 22 • 40:05
There are countless benefits to collaboration. We get new ideas. Solve problems more quickly. Produce higher quality work.

But too much of anything can turn toxic. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

Rob Cross, Professor of Global Leadership at Babson College, has spent time with hundreds of leaders who’ve figured out how to collaborate more effectively. What he learned led ...

CM 200: Jay Van Bavel on Our Changing Identities

Nov 8 • 52:01
We like to think of our identities as singular and stable: I’m an early riser (and will always be), or I’m a foodie (and can’t imagine otherwise).

But if we take a step back, we see how we not only hold multiple identities, but how many of these identities change over the course of our lives. 

Remember when you were a student? Or a time when you were single?

While there are s...

CM 199: Michael Rousell on the Power of Surprise

Oct 25 • 33:08
How to change someone’s mind. It’s a topic that’s come up a few times before on the podcast. For example, I talked to Jonah Berger about how to make inroads by asking for less. I also spoke with Tali Sharot about how to get further by focusing first on what you have in common.

Yet there’s one tip that’s never made the list. And it’s one that’s proven to have an incredible ...

CM 198: Eric Johnson on the Science of Decision-Making

Oct 11 • 48:16
We like to think we’re in complete control of the decisions we make. From the sandwich we ordered for lunch to the Netflix show we watched last night. Yet, in each case, we’ve got a hidden partner, one that influences nearly every decision we make.

That partner is the designer.

Whether we’re reading a restaurant menu or scrolling a website, we’re taking in information that’...

CM 197: Stefan Thomke on How to Run Game-Changing Experiments

Sep 27 • 47:24
What do you think makes companies like Amazon or Google so innovative? With Amazon you might say their relentless focus on the customer. With Google, you might point to their powerful search engine or cloud computing.

What you might not think about is just how important experiments are to their success. Not just a few experiments, but tens of thousands run annually so they...

CM 196: Kat Vellos on Mastering Friendship

Sep 13 • 50:14
I’ve spent a lot of time talking to guests about our relationships at work. For example, we’ve discussed how to listen better, how to navigate conflict, and how to influence others, just to name a few.

What I’ve spent less time talking about are the relationships that go beyond work. That’s why I invited Kat Vellos on the show this week to talk about her amazing book, We Sh...

CM 195: Vanessa Bohns on How We Influence Others

Aug 30 • 53:30
One of the messages our culture delivers is “not enough.” Not clever enough. Not busy enough. Not successful enough. It’s a cultural mantra that beats just below the surface of many conversations, especially the ones we have with ourselves.

That’s what’s so refreshing about Vanessa Bohns’ book, You Have More Influence Than You Think: How We Underestimate our Power of Persua...

CM 194: Joe Keohane on the Benefits of Talking to Strangers

Aug 16 • 48:49
I have a confession to make. I enjoy talking to people I don't know. I like learning about them and hearing their stories. I'm sure it explains why I started this podcast nearly six years ago.

Yet I know a lot of people who avoid talking to strangers. And if, for any reason, they have to, they dread it. But these feelings of dread work against us. Study after study shows th...

CM 193: Deborah Stone on the How Data Can Lead Us Astray

Aug 2 • 50:56
Numbers have power. They convey certainty. For example, when we know whether cases of Covid-19 are rising or falling, we feel like we have more control. Like we’ve got the answer.

Yet numbers can be slippery too.

Sure. Counting the number of people in a sports stadium is objective. But what about race totals in the U.S. Census? The same goes for the number of people who fall...

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