I’ve been in business almost 20 years. In that time I have made some bad decisions.
I’ve employed people who I shouldn’t have by overestimating my ability to recruit [The Dunning-Kruger effect].
Made unwise IT purchasing decisions because of the perceived need to be up to date [Pro-innovation bias].
- Not stopped unviable projects quickly enough [Sunk cost fallacy].
- Been influenced by the consensus when deciding a strategy and not given sufficient weight to contrary views [Group think].
- Doing tasks within the organisation which would have been better outsourced to experts [The Ikea Effect].
- Underestimated the length of time a project would take to complete [The Planning Fallacy].
This is a snapshot of the mistakes I’ve made, the list is a long one.
Learning from my mistakes and learning how to make better decisions has been part of the business journey.
Reading alot has helped, as learning from others’ mistakes is better a way of avoiding mistakes than learning from my own.
One book switched on a lightbulb and enabled me to think better and understand the way bad decisions are made.
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman unpacks the cognitive processes in play when bad choices are taken. It’s an evergreen classic.
In my day job as an Employment Solicitor the starting point for any discrimination case is that discriminators rarely admit discrimination, even to themselves (to paraphrase the Judge in King v Great British China). Their cognitive bias blocks out the reality of their actions.
And that’s the thing about getting buy in for any form of diversity or harassment training, most employees don’t see it as relevant to them because they have a black neighbour, they once allowed a woman to return from maternity leave as part time, they went to school with some one who was transgender, their inappropriate comments were just banter yada yada, and a whole host of other reasons why they see themselves as a progressive manager.
So if an employee does not see themselves in need of unconscious bias training focussing on diversity issues because they don’t see themselves as even a litttle bit sexist, racist or homophobic on occasions then buy in will be difficult. Engagement will be hard to win.
However if an elearning course on unconscious biases is more wide ranging, looking at how bad decisions are made and how cognitive mistakes can be avoided, employee buy in may be easier. Even an organisation’s least humble employee will be able to remember, if pressed hard enough, making a mistake once. Buy in for a course on better thinking leading to better decision making should prove an easier sell to employees. They can see that they might learn something which will give them an edge.
And that’s what we have done with our Unconscious Bias elearning course. Made it more wide ranging and more relevant to the organisation’s decision makers. Of course we touch on better recruiting and promoting to enable a more diverse workforce, but the course is much more than that.
Because let’s face it one of the curses of our age is the monocular single subject matter expert – mentioning no names Professor Neil Ferguson – and many unconscious bias training courses are written solely with diversity in mind.
Unconscious bias training focussing solely on diversity issues, rightly or wrongly, is perceived as part of the woke agenda and critical race theory. That agenda and that theory does have a political slant. Most organisations want to focus on their business and not be seen as too involved in issues with a political angle.
Our course will raise awareness amongst your team of how bad decisions are made and will enable them to make better decisions.
Let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in enrolling your team on the course as it will launch in early July.