Are you ready to sell your business?

Australia’s population, like that of most developed countries, is ageing as a result of sustained low fertility and increasing life expectancy. The median age of Australians in the year 2008 – 2009 has increased to 36.9 years. What does this mean for Australian business? – 40% of business owners intend to leave the business in…

We do what we’re told…. or do we?

Before psychologists worried too much about research ethics a really famous series of experiments took place in the 1960s by a young and charismatic American psychologist named Stanley Milgram to try and understand why seemingly normal people could do terrible things such as the atrocities carried out in Nazi Germany. Milgram tricked participants into thinking that they were administering severe and highly dangerous electric shocks to a fellow participant in another room during an exercise in learning and memory.  According to the data 26 out of 40 participants obeyed the instructions to give increasingly severe shocks up to 450 Volts (two steps beyond the labels on the switches they were using that said Danger: Severe Shock). The experiment has been repeated in various countries and even had a song written about it in the 1980s called “We do what we’re told”, written and performed by Peter Gabriel as well as being recreated on TV documentaries. The message from these experiments is often interpreted as being that individuals, when ordered to by an apparent authority figure will likely abandon their normal, personal sense of responsibility for their own actions and follow instructions regardless of the consequences.