An engaging little conversation between Barack Obama and British Opposition leader David Cameron was caught on tape and distributed by the Associated Press:

Obama-Cameron conversation

I think there are actually two kinds of “taking time to think”, at least in our Income/Outcome business simulation. One is demonstrated by looking at the difference between doing four decision-making rounds in Entrepreneurial Challenge in 4 hours, versus doing those same rounds spread out over 8 hours in Finance For Everyone but with planning and analysis interspersed. Obviously the longer format offers the opportunity to ‘take time to think’.

The second kind of ‘thinking time’ is demonstrated by considering the differences in running a business simulation for 8 hours straight (i.e. 8-5 with lunch) or by running the same game for an afternoon (1-5 pm) and the following morning (8-noon) with the night in between to clear your head and then process while sleeping. This ‘time to think’ allows for active (or passive) reflection and absorption.

The Obama-Cameron conversation is almost about using the first-type structure to do the second-type review. What do you think?

(Also, I think I understand Cameron more as a result of this conversation – he’s clear and crisp, businesslike, friendly enough, competent, but not particularly deep, wide-ranging or speculative.)