Fernando Fischmann

The Bias Against Innovation

9 June, 2014 / Articles

When businesses and institutions are under the stress to change or innovate, their focus is on people rather than process. Many times they fail, because change and innovation are stifled by cognitive bias and the right atmosphere of their business might be the key to changing this.

Cognitive bias describes a pattern of deviation in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Daniel Kahnemann is the father of the idea and it is spreading across technology and creative industries. A collaborative effort from Cornell called the effect on businesses ‘The Bias against Creativity’ and Tara Hunt picked up on it in her article ‘You can’t take the Creative’.

To understand the biases, here are a few:

Confirmation Bias — The action of ignoring aspects of a scenario that disagree with past experiences and highlighting aspects that already agree with us. Something that says, ‘Stick with the old, distrust the new’.

Framing — A narrowing of the situation or issue, will likely ignore or oppose elements that don’t fit into the narrow view of the viewer.

Attitude Polarization — An effect that makes someone become more polarised in their opinion after committing to a certain decision. It is an effect most of us will have experienced in discussions, professional or private and something that can be seen happening within like-minded groups.




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