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Paul J. Zak

Paul J. Zak

Paul’s two decades of research have taken him from the Pentagon to Fortune 50 boardrooms to the rain forest of Papua New Guinea. All this in a quest to understand the neuroscience of human connection, human happiness, and effective teamwork.

Recent posts by Paul J. Zak

2 min read

Machine Learning with Immersion

By Paul J. Zak on Mar 8, 2021 8:36:07 PM

Immersion is a prediction engine. It was designed from the get-go to accurately and consistently predict what individuals and markets will do. This linkage means that clients can measure the value Immersion creates immediately and unambiguously.  

Topics: Entertainment Science Prediction
1 min read

Building Trust Remotely

By Paul J. Zak on Feb 22, 2021 2:18:56 PM

I was privileged to have a LinkedIn Live conversation with Dr. Jeffrey Hull, the Education Director at Harvard Medical School's Institute of Coaching. We discussed the role of trust in creating high-performance teams, the science behind trust, and how to build trust when teams work remotely. Jeff and I filled our conversation with practical ways that leaders can measure and manage teams for high trust in order to reach high performance.  We also laughed a lot; once the value of trust is recognized, it is easy to maintain it by showing one authentically cares about others.

Topics: Flow Trust Performance
1 min read

Using Immersion to Optimize UX

By Paul J. Zak on Feb 15, 2021 11:57:12 AM

Retailers are battling each other to capture sales online. Prices matter, but so do services such as rapid shipping and free returns. Companies spend considerable amounts to make user experiences (UX) during shopping exciting and easy. Market researchers typically do this by following clicks: track where to people go, how much time they spend there, and how much they buy.   Nearly every serious online retailer is constantly A/B testing colors, font size, typefaces and anything else that can promote purchases.

Topics: marketing Retail Customer Journey
1 min read

Sustain High Performance With Psychological Safety

By Paul J. Zak on Feb 8, 2021 10:01:34 AM

Teamwork: is it hard or easy?

Topics: Training Flow Performance
2 min read

Optimizing Organizational Performance

By Paul J. Zak on Jan 18, 2021 11:21:01 AM

I've spent much of the last 20 years developing the science of interpersonal trust and showing how powerfully trust drives outcomes. Mary Slaughter, a Managing Director of People Advisory Services at EY, kindly asked me to contribute to an article she wrote at the digital magazine Reworked on optimizing organizational performance by building a culture of trust. Connecting trust to culture was not fast or easy.

Topics: Emotional Health Flow Trust
2 min read

Can you Dial for Answers?

By Paul J. Zak on Jan 5, 2021 11:06:30 AM

Data analysts like to say that more data is always good.

Topics: Entertainment marketing Prediction
2 min read

Flowing into Immersion

By Paul J. Zak on Dec 14, 2020 8:30:00 AM

Steamed mussels, white wine, and espresso. Mihaly, or Mike as he preferred to be called in America, had lived here for 45 years but his Hungarian heritage was clear from his lunch. Sitting outdoors on a warm day in a Southern California café, my Claremont Graduate University colleague Mike Csikszentmihalyi described how he discovered the psychological state he named “flow” in the early 1970s. He observed and interviewed painters and other artists who described being so absorbed in their work that they lost track of time. They also reported a sense of bliss during the experience. Mike characterized flow as the pleasurable experience of being actively engrossed in a task. This research has been, and continues to be, very influential.

Topics: Science Emotional Health Flow
2 min read

Battle Tested

By Paul J. Zak on Dec 7, 2020 6:07:20 PM

"I INTEROGATE TERRORISTS FOR A LIVING AND I NEED THAT STUFF TOMORROW!"

Topics: Training Science Prediction
3 min read

Thank You to Immersion Super Fans

By Paul J. Zak on Nov 26, 2020 8:08:11 AM

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." So said the Roman statesman and philosopher Cicero.

Topics: Training Entertainment recall
2 min read

Crowd-Sourcing Content Creation Using Immersion

By Paul J. Zak on Nov 16, 2020 6:56:03 PM

Years ago, I served as a consultant to a large ad agency and was invited to join a meeting with a client. The agency presented rough-cut videos of six approaches for an American automobile manufacturer's Super Bowl commercial. The 30-second air time would cost $4 million and toss in another million to the agency for creative and production and you're talking real money.

Topics: marketing NaaS