Cognitive Bias

How Co-creator Bias Affects Innovation

 

In this article, Robyn M. Bolton illuminates how our personal bias comes into play with the co-creator syndrome and how it can affect innovation.   

When I was a senior in college, I took a pottery class. 

One of our assignments, before learning to throw on the wheel, was to create a functional piece using slabs of clay.  I designed an Alice in Wonderland-inspired vase and built something that somewhat resembled the design.

Obviously impressed by my innate talent, the instructor offered to teach me a special glazing technique that used highly toxic chemicals to create…well…I stopped listening as soon as I heard “toxic chemicals.”  It was dangerous, so I was in.

The result was a rather misshapen (not Alice in Wonderland-inspired) vase that looked like it was made out of chunks of rusted metal.

I loved it!

My roommate hated it.

She declared it the ugliest thing she ever saw and forbid me from placing it anywhere in the apartment where she might have the misfortune of laying eyes on it.

To this day, she swears it’s the ugliest thing she’s ever seen.

I display it proudly on the bookshelf in my office.

It would be easy to explain our different reactions to my work of art as simply the result of different aesthetic preferences.  And while there may be some truth in it, I suspect the better explanation is the IKEA Effect.

 

Key points include:

  • The Ikea effect
  • Meatballs and lingonberries
  • Objective governance

 

Read the full article, The IKEA Effect is Creating Zombies. Here’s How to Fight Them, on the MileZero website. 

 

Unraveling the Cognitive Bias of Corporate Leaders

 

Karen Barth explains why the majority of consumer products and corporate transformations fail due to cognitive biases. 

Why do 80% of the 30,000 consumer products launched each year and 70% of corporate transformations fail?

Often business leaders are blinded by cognitive biases, which seriously affect their decision-making – and, as a result, the revenues and welfare of their companies. It can be hard to see these biases from the inside.

Take, for instance, one of Britain’s largest food companies. The CEO and other senior leaders were looking to expand into a new market – in this case, the U.S.

I worked with them to gather data, conduct customer research and review every aspect of building a food business in the U.S., from distribution channels to marketing. A key part of the planning process was focus group research, to be held in five U.S. cities.

I’ll never forget sitting in one such city on the other side of a large one-way mirror with two senior leaders who were assigned to work with me and my team on the expansion strategy. Within minutes of the group’s start, I saw expressions of shock on their faces.

The facilitator was trying to get twelve American participants to taste steak and kidney pie, one of the most popular dishes all of the U.K. They saw with their own eyes that the Americans wouldn’t even taste it. I witnessed one senior executive scream at some of the participants, he was so frustrated. “Just taste it you idiots.” he yelled at the Americans from behind the sound-proof mirror.

 

Read the full article, Doesn’t Everyone Think (and Eat,) Like I Do? A Taste of Bias, on the Cognitive Edge website.