Confirmation Bias Strikes Again.
When a business stalls or encounters serious problems, it is often the very “team” that gave it strength that now is part of the roadblock to creating innovative solutions. Most businesses tend to hire employees from very similar backgrounds, whether socio-economic, schooling, or even geography. It can narrow their perspective and also create an effect where there is deadly “group think.” This is usually thought to be a result of the players being so “comfortable” with each other that they don’t challenge each other’s assumptions, and tend to draw the same conclusions. (Real-life examples of the type of “group think” turnaround featured in the classic “Twelve Angry Men” are rarer than we’d like to believe.)
A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review points out an even more insidious barrier to change, even among those companies that may be trying to diversify their teams. It’s a long, but fascinating read….and you better have at least two people with a different perspective if you want to turn that jury around.
If there’s only one woman (or ethnically diverse or non-college educated or under-represented “fill in the blank here” candidate) in your candidate pool, there’s statistically almost no chance she’ll be hired… Read it here. The good news? Adding just one other non-traditional candidate radically increases the statistical probability that a non-traditional candidate will be hired.
We’ve talked about how confirmation bias can limit your ability to correctly identify your problems here and why project teams need diverse viewpoints. Need to see just how homogenous your team is? Grab our “Reading the Terrain” field guide here. The pointed questions will help you view a very familiar place with fresh eyes.