Why might insubordination be a good thing? Normally when we use that word, it’s seen as a negative. But there’s an alternative interpretation, where insubordination is seen as a positive, constructive challenge to traditional orthodoxy. For ideas to...
Why might insubordination be a good thing? Normally when we use that word, it’s seen as a negative.
But there’s an alternative interpretation, where insubordination is seen as a positive, constructive challenge to traditional orthodoxy. For ideas to evolve and societies to progress — in other words, if we want to mitigate human risk - we need to cultivate rebels who are committed to challenging conventional wisdom and improving on it.
But change is never easy. And it's not easy being a rebel. Particularly if you don’t have the skills to overcome hostile audiences who cling desperately to the way things are. Which is where my guest comes in.
He’s Todd Kashdan, Professor of psychology and director of the Well-Being Laboratory at George Mason University in Virginia. Todd’s research explores why people suffer, with an emphasis on the transition from normal to pathological anxiety.
Todd has just written a book called ‘The Art of Insubordination: how to dissent and defy effectively’, which provides a toolkit for constructive insubordination.
When I first came across Todd’s book — with huge thanks to friend of the show, Dr Zoe Chance — It’s incredible. It’s a book I wished I’d read decades ago and one I’m nos repeatedly dipping into as I work on delivering my human risk mission of bringing behavioural science to ethics & compliance.
In our discussion, we explore what prompted Todd to write the book, why insubordination can be a good thing, what the obstacles are to being insubordinate and what we can all do to bring more insubordination into our lives.
Some of the things we discuss on the show:
Todd and his research: https://toddkashdan.com/
The Art of Insubordination: how to dissent & defy effectively - https://toddkashdan.com/the-art-of-insubordination/
Serge Muscovici - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serge_Moscovici
Dr Zoe Chance & her book ‘Influence Is Your Superpower’ - https://www.zoechance.com/
Hear Zoe on this show here: https://www.humanriskpodcast.com/dr-zoe-chance-on-influence/
Professor Vanessa Bohns & her book ‘You Have More Influence Than You Think’ - https://www.vanessabohns.com/
Hear Vanessa on this show here: https://www.humanriskpodcast.com/professor-vanessa-bohns-on-influence/
David Foster Wallace & his novel Infinite Jest - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_Jest
L’esprit de l’escalier, the idea that we always think of the perfect answer after the event - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27esprit_de_l%27escalier