Confirmation Bias Innovation

It will really hamper innovation!

Using my definition of confirmation bias as:  “The unconscious need of an individual to have their beliefs and facts confirmed” makes it clear why innovation is difficult.  We all have a need to feel comfortable and receive reinforcement of what we know to be true. Here is the wikipedia definition.

This means that we tend to surround ourselves with like-minded people, turn on news that supports our opinions and read articles that confirm our knowledge. This keeps us thinking inside the box. However, this makes it hard to fully listen to and absorb new or different information and facts. At work we do not get to pick the people we work with on projects and, thus, confirmation bias limits our adoption of new and different approaches and processes proposed by them.

If you accept that innovation is good at all levels, not just for new business models or products but also in mundane day-to-day processes, then the conclusion is that you should be aware of your confirmation bias. Then extract the nuggets of wisdom from those uncomfortable opposing opinions, facts, news and information.  In other words, disable your bias filter and be open minded.

This applies at work and at home equally.   The benefits of innovation are endless for you and everybody around you.

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