What Razor Loves: January 2020

We’re an eclectic bunch at team Razor.

Each month, we share with the world a flavour of what’s caught our attention and influenced our thinking and conversations in the office.


Chloë B
Netflix released season two of Sex Education this month and I AM OBSESSED. I loved the first season and from what I’ve seen so far, it’s definitely ramped up a gear. It’s so refreshing to see a show tackle sensitive issues in such a bold way and it must be amazing for Gen Z growing up with something like this as part of popular culture. From the characters, to the jokes and the upbeat tone running through every episode, everything is spot on and I can’t wait to watch more!

Chloë F
It was the worst and best of times. Netflix’s ‘Don’t F*** with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer’ and C4’s ‘Catching a Killer’ made me feel palpably dreadful about the human race. Then I binged ‘Cheer’ on Netflix and the world was okay again. Fair do’s, it’s TV with my name on it, but still. The mental and physical torture those kids go through, their open-mindedness in small towns that we never think are open-minded. Magical. One thing’s for sure though, there’s no way I’d ever make Mat.

One of my birthday gifts was a year’s membership to Salon London. (Think TED Talks given in intimate settings; a fun, social way of expanding the old grey matter.) Last year, I went to a talk given by a consultant forensic psychologist who gave an insight to complex/high-risk criminals and why they commit brutal crimes. Perhaps not the most uplifting topic but most definitely interesting one. This month I went to my first event, as a member, about the science of stress. Psychiatrist, Professor Carmine Pariante, explained why we should avoid stress while neuro psychologist, Professor Catherine Loveday, talked about why we should embrace most stress and see it as a challenge. All delivered in a funny and relaxed way so quite a pleasant night in all. Coming soon… how to argue with a racist. <<rolls up sleeves>>


I listened to an Intelligence Squared interview with BJ Fogg (co-founder of the Stanford Behavioural Design Lab) which inspired and scared in equal measure. The inspiring bit was his ‘Tiny Habits’ theory, or how to make habits stick by taking baby steps. For example, if you want to floss your teeth regularly; start by flossing just one tooth and pat yourself on the back. That becomes so easy that you add one more tooth, and another and another and then – routine. So far, so inspiring. HOWEVER, the Stanford Lab also saw many Big Tech bros pass through its doors, leading some to think of Fogg as enabling (even promoting) persuasive technology, by teaching them how to make apps and gadgets addictive, and in turn behaviour changing without us realising. EEK.


I read Red Notice by Bill Browder for my book club this month and it was fascinating! I hadn’t fully understood the degree of corruption that exists within Putin’s Russia. This is a book of bravery, brutality and justice. Basically if you like thrillers and find Russian culture interesting, then this is definitely one to read.

I’ve just finished listening to The Dropout podcast about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her company, Theranos. In addition to interviewing ex-employees and explaining what happened, the producers also try to analyse how and why something like this can happen, with the help of some experts in behaviour. As a psychology grad I found it really interesting.


Learning matters: AQR’s Models of Thinking

Sharper thinking is a big deal to us. And so is industry training and learning.
Starting now, we’d like to share our thoughts on all sessions we attend.
Because learning matters.  


January 2020: AQR’s Models of Thinking

A full-day session designed to help researchers avoid getting stuck in repetitive ways of thinking and to help tackle client briefs in different ways.


Topics covered:

  • Mindframes by Caroline Hayter and Sarah Jay (Acacia Avenue)
  • Brand models by Judy Taylor (Consult JMT)
  • Communications by Laura Gillespie (Kokoro)

Razor feedback:

An enlightening course that’s changed the way I think when it comes to tackling briefs and report writing. I’m looking forward to: playing around with these various frameworks and models to help create a clear and compelling story for our clients, and to using the Pyramid Principles when I next write a debrief.
(Kate Stratton)

‘The session contents linked to a number of projects I’m currently working on. It provoked thoughts and new ideas for how I could approach different business challenges. I found the section on brand models and frameworks particularly interesting and am looking forward to using these methods in some upcoming analysis. Overall, the course challenged and encouraged me to think about how I could develop models within my own research to enhance understanding and to provide more strategic recommendations to clients.’
(Lindsay Bell)

Don’t forget to check the AQR and MRS calendars for upcoming events and training!