Super article in HBR Nov-2015 by Francesca Gino and Bradley Staats: Why organizations don’t learn.
Our traditional obsessions – success, taking action, fitting in, and relying on experts – undermine continuous improvement
Some highlights …
- Bias towards success
- Challenges: Fear of failure; A fixed mindset (as opposed to a growth mindset); Over reliance on past performance; The attribution bias (success skill rather than luck; failure bad luck)
- Responses: destigmatize failure; embrace and teach a growth mindset; consider potential when hiring and promoting (potential: curiosity; insight; engagement; determination); use a data-driven approach to identify what caused success
- Bias towards action
- Challenges: Exhaustion; lack of reflection
- Responses: Breaks; time just to think; encourage reflection after doing
- Bias towards fitting in
- Challenges: Believing we need to fit in; Failure to use one’s strength (‘at work, do you have an opportunity to do what you do best every day?‘)
- Responses: cultivate strengths; increase awareness and engage workers; model god behavious
- Bias towards experts
- Challenges: overly narrow view on experts; inadequate frontline involvement
- Responses: Encourage workers to own problems that affect them; give workers different kinds of experience; empower employees to use their experience (‘[…] identify and remove barriers that prevent individuals from using their expertise‘)
You need to counter these four biases to unleash the power of learning and enable true continuous improvement.
What a great breakdown!!!
Note of self: This is relevant for #AgileEngine and the learning dimension.