Your Expertise Can Be Your Enemy

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman has spent a life time understanding the biases that lead to bad decisions. These biases are especially powerful when we are in a chaotic, fast-paced environment. For example, when we are under pressure our mind works to create coherent stories from mere scraps of data. Once such a story is created it drives decisions.

This has tremendous and far ranging implications. CEOs and members of the C-suite may not consider all the available facts and trends that signal a need for a strategic pivot. Sales people write off prospects that are ready to close. All based on what has been learned from prior experience.

Perhaps most important is the impact on R&D and innovation. Scientists and engineers have deeply ingrained mental models of how the world works. These frameworks coupled with a pace of change unmatched in history increases the likelihood that they may miss a breakthrough opportunity.

People high on two components of resilience – Fact-Based Decision-Making and Ability To Pivot are significantly more likely to collect more relevant information before making an important decision. This in turn can dramatically increase the odds that their decision is correct. . . and they won’t miss a tremendous opportunity.

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