42nd Street Company (#42stc)

HBR on why organizations don’t learn

By on November 29, 2015

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.