Behavioral Grooves Podcast

Covid-19 Crisis: Caroline Webb, Senior Advisor at McKinsey, on The Value of Where We Place Our Attention and Amplifying Certainty

July 5, 2020

Caroline Webb, a Senior Advisor at McKinsey, is an executive coach, author, and speaker specializing in insights from behavioral science to improve our lives at work. Her book on that topic, How To Have A Good Day, has been published in 14 languages and in more than 60 countries. One of her past jobs was to contribute to the world economic forecast, and she is fluid in her ability to speak with authority on a wide spectrum of topics. This session was recorded in February 2020 in the early days of the lockdown and we realize Caroline's words of encouragement to identify even the smallest things that we can control stand up well today. 

We found profound value in her reminder that in times of great upheaval, we can still control our kindness, 

She spoke with determination on the importance of intentionality and deliberateness in our daily lives, but she tweaked these ideas with a special twist. Caroline noted that ‘batching’ our lives - the use of compartments and guardrails for work, news, work-outs, socializing...etc. - can reduce cognitive load and increase subjective wellbeing. 

And, as always, we appreciate Caroline’s openness and authenticity in revealing her personal challenges with the lockdown and the uncertainties of the crisis. And with all that serious exchange, we found plenty of times to enjoy a good laugh. 

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves

Connect with Kurt and Tim: 

Kurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates  e-mail: [email protected] 

Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan  e-mail: [email protected] 

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General Coronavirus Info: 

Daily Newsletter Summarizing data from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security:


Great videos on the science behind this by Dr. Peter Attia – this is the first in a series:

What is herd immunity?:

A list curated by [email protected]


Coronavirus & Behavioral Science: 

Selected Links: The Behavioral Sice of Coronavirus:

Why no one is reading your coronavirus email:

Handwashing can stop a virus, so why don’t we do it?:

The behavioral science of handwashing: 

Ideas 42: The Behavioral Side of COVID-19 here: 

Greater Good:


How We Can Cope During This Crisis: 

Tip Sheet from HUMU:

Resources for learning at home:


General Behavioral Science Links: 

Common Biases and Heuristics:

Jonathan Haidt – 5 Moral Foundations:

Annie Duke’s “How To Decide”:

“16 Ways To Promote Hand Washing With Behavioral Science” article by Aline Holzwarth:

Aline Holzwarth’s Playlist on Spotify:

Deontological and Consequential Moralities:

Difference between descriptive and injunctive norms:

Emotion Research from FinalMile:

Pandemic Playbook from FinalMile:

Irrational Labs Bootcamp:

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