Wizzle (noun):

  • A fierce animal of unknown appearance and temperament not as common as the woozle.
  • assumed to be fierce.


“Before beginning a hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.”

Winnie the Pooh


“Come on!” said Christopher Robin

“Where?” said Pooh.

“Anywhere.” said Christopher Robin. So, they went off together.

House on Pooh Corner


The woozle effect. Saying something so often, so stridently, so assuredly, it becomes almost, well, a self-evident truth. It almost falls into the ‘common sense’ category. And it is very, very, often simply some made up shit. Yeah. there may be a grain of truth or maybe it is just slanted in the direction of a truth, but in the end its just made-up shit. Attention span of a goldfish, left brain right brain, most of the GenZ/Millennial/generational narrative, almost every meme you see winding its way across twitter and your wackjob friend’s emails, fall into this category. But it gets a bit insidious in the workplace. Purpose is most likely the most recent business issue. As I have noted a number of times, Richard Shotton’s book, The Choice Factory, does a fabulous job dismantling the Stengel business case for Purpose. Yet. The discussion of Purpose, as I have noted a number of times, is a valuable conversation to have. But. The woozle effect. Purpose takes on a variety of, well, things said confidently, often, becomes some ‘truth’ from which businesses, dangerously, act upon. And, as a consequence, anyone who raises their hand and suggests all the gobbledygook is just a woozle becomes, well, a wizzle – fierce and less common than the woozle.

I hope you get my point. The woozle effect is real and is, at its heart, an anti-intellectual issue. Its kind of indicative of the simplistic, or simple, hollowed out world we live in, and, once again, business is the poster child of this anti-intellectualism (or at least it appears business people are).

Which leads me to suggest Winnie the Pooh was the first anti-intellectualist.

I mean by that is that despite having only fluff for brains he says simple things with extreme depth, but with no explanation. This is unlike real experts, or the deep intellectuals, who seek to share knowledge so that people can explore the depths of the idea and thinking and not let these thoughts dangle in some simplistic abyss for people to craft their own understanding. Simple silly things can easily get disguised in simple things of depth. Yeah. identifying a woozle is tough. Just to make my point, focusing solely on the silly and the simple ignores the fact that Winnie the Pooh does nothing without deep consideration (for someone with fluff for a brain). In fact, almost every word is full of meaning. But what makes him a bit of an anti-intellectual is that he refuses to articulate the depth so that his “Pooh-isms” can be wielded like a dull axe by other anti-intellectuals (seeking to sound like an intellectual) to dispense with some shallow wisdom. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the depth in Winnie the Pooh’s brevity.

“Tigger is alright really,” said Christopher Robin. “Everybody is really,” said Pooh, “that’s what I think, but I don’t suppose I’m right.” “Of course you are” said Christopher Robin.

Uhm. That’s Voltaire I believe; just without all the books. Its s a suggestion of a possibility, and an ideal, but not reflective of the actual world. and that is anti-intellectualism in a nutshell. Shit. It is Jordan Petersen in a nutshell. He is the Winnie-the-Pooh intellectual. Say simple shit that sounds deep. He is a woozle maker.


“People who don’t think probably don’t have Brains; rather, they have grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake.”

Winnie the Pooh


Which leads me to sloppy thinking or lazy thinking.

Its quite possible in a woozle effect world sometimes people don’t think at all. The first two make my head explode. The last simply makes me sad.

Look. Sometimes it’s easier to just “do” and not think. Just to do what you are told to do and not think. Sometimes its easier to accept a woozle and start building pragmatic things to do (‘doing’ based on a flawed intellectual lily pad). The problem with that type of non-thinking thinking is that means you are truly at the mercy of someone else – physically in your actions and mentally in your thoughts. Even worse? If you don’t think you actually can begin getting out muscled even if you DO think. Huh? Your brain is a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it gets.

So. Over a period of time if you allow others to do your thinking for you, you will become that person that gets pushed around and bullied into doing things you don’t really want to do.  And no one really wants to be that person (and it is fairly easy to avoid).


All I really know about thinking has been taught to me by others. I once had an incredibly talented young woman employee (say early 20’s age wise). As a manager you kill to get someone on your team like this. Someone you know from day one will become better than you. This talented woman asked ‘why’ every time <and I mean ALL the time> I asked her to ‘do’ something (this is not another Simon Sinek-Pooh-intellectual ‘why’ example, this is a logic why questioning). In addition, in a high % of the situations she would also question or challenge the logic beyond the task. While sometimes things just needed to get done we always made time to discuss thinking.


Thinking is at the core of progress & growth. Therefore, Pooh is correct. You must have grey fluff in your head if you choose not to think. Because it means you have purposefully chosen to make no progress or grow. Pooh was a smart bear (albeit an anti-intellectual one).


“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”
Winnie the Pooh


Whew. Smart bear. Sometimes that ‘thing’ in your head is less of a thing when spoken.

Which leads me to end with a Rob Estreinho thought.

“Frequency creates familiarity, but be careful to take frequently said things for granted.”

In other words, beware the woozle effect.


Written by Bruce