Max Bazerman: The Power of Noticing


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In my Smart Talk Episode 087 conversation with Max Bazerman you’ll hear about:

  • Explains our cognitive blind spots and motivational blindness
  • How to develop the skill of noticing
  • How to be aware of marketing misdirection

The Power of Noticing

Have you ever had difficulty figuring out when to trust someone or when to be suspicious of their claims? Have you ever been disappointed because you failed to notice something that later turned out the be really important?   It turns out that even the experienced leaders miss things. So today we’re talking with Harvard Business School professor Max Bazerman, about his latest book The Power of Noticing.

Max will explain our cognitive blind spots – such as not noticing when there are many gradual changes over time, or not noticing when things seem to good to be true, or not noticing when an entire industry is set-up in a way that deters the detection of ethical and moral lapses. If we could teach yourself to see, judge information others routinely fail to notice, image the advantage you’d have negotiations, in decision-making, and in leadership. And that’s what we are going to talk about today.


Max H. Bazerman is Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the Co-Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Max’s research focuses on decision making, negotiation, and ethics. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of twenty books (including The Power of Noticing, Simon and Schuster, 2014; and Blind Spots [with Ann Tenbrunsel], Princeton University Press, 2011) and over 200 research articles and chapters.

Max was named the Harvard Kennedy School’s Advisory of the Year in 2014. In 2009, Max won both the Wyss Award for doctoral student mentoring and the Williams Award for teaching excellence at the Harvard Business School.  His former doctoral students have accepted positions at leading business schools throughout the United States, including the Kellogg School at Northwestern, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Fuqua School at Duke, the Johnson School at Cornell, Carnegie-Mellon University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Columbia, and the Harvard Business School.

Max’s book: The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See

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