Chip Heath's Secret to Overcoming Confirmation Bias

Carla O'Dell's picture

We all make some bad decisions: small ones, like buying those adorable shoes that were on sale but hurt your feet. Or colossal ones, like taking a bad job, investing in a doomed start-up or doomed-to-fail product, marrying someone obviously incompatible or invading a country. 

Why do smart people make dumb decisions?

Well, I happen to believe that the confirmation bias is often the culprit and pretty much at the root of many bad decisions and most human nearsightedness and meanness. It is why we get blindsided when the clues were there all along.

APQC Hosts Groundbreaking MENA KM Conference in Dubai

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APQC hosts MENA Knowledge Management Conference in November 2015In November 2015, APQC hosted a two-day MENA Knowledge Management Conference in Dubai, bringing high-caliber speakers from APQC’s membership to share their experiences and expertise with an eager international audience from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

How Wise Are Your Leaders?

Carla O'Dell's picture

As the end of the year approaches, I have been reflecting on the concept of wisdom.  Supposedly wisdom results from knowledge and experience. What are the characteristics of wise leaders? Here is what I think is the #1 characteristic:

They don’t sacrifice our collective future for their current gain.

What KM Can Learn From Airplane Pilot Training

Carla O'Dell's picture

Let me alert you to a fascinating interview I did with Elizabeth Swan on how people learn and the implications for knowledge management, innovation, and accelerating the rate of organizational learning. The conversation started because we discovered that we both enjoyed the same book, How We Learn by Benedict Carey of the New York Times. 

‘The Martian’s’ Andy Weir on premortem planning for a manned NASA mission to Mars

Carla O'Dell's picture

Like many of you, as the weather cools and the summer fades, APQC is knee-deep in strategic planning. Since APQC has access to many best practices, we try to follow them. One is to conduct a premortem on planned investments, a technique borrowed from project planning, in which one attempts to imagine what could go wrong and decide how to avoid or mitigate those risks. Doesn’t this go against the socially acceptable stance of being an optimist?

Want Change Management That Works? Have a Clear Simple Message

Carla O'Dell's picture

I know I am not Steve Jobs. But I am a pretty good version of myself. According to Nick Tasler, change management consultant and keynote speaker at APQC's upcoming 2015 Process Conference, that might be ok.

To Make Change Management Work, Clean out your Organization's Closets (aka priorities)

Carla O'Dell's picture

Have you noticed how hard it is to get rid of things even though you never use them? Think about the last time you cleaned out your closet or garage. Are you still holding on to an out of style sweater or a bicycle you never seem to get around to riding?

Psychologists call this common human weakness “the endowment effect” because we endow things we already own with more value than we would otherwise. It makes it very hard to let go of something probably not serving you anymore.

‘The Martian’ author Andy Weir on Learning and Applying Knowledge

Carla O'Dell's picture

"I'm gonna have to science the ##$^ out of this!"

So says Mark Watney, lead character in the best-selling book and soon to be released movie The Martian starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain. Faced with death, Watney had compelling motivation to become an expert in survival on Mars.

I was curious about how a non-engineer learned enough to write such an accurate book. (According to NASA; I wouldn’t know.)  

Unlearning: NASA Meets SpaceX

Carla O'Dell's picture

As part of my quest to understand how people become experts more quickly in complex scientific and technical disciplines, I interviewed Edward J. Hoffman, chief knowledge officer (CKO) at NASA. This is the second of two blogs on my conversation with Ed. You can check out the first one and learn more about Ed's role here.

How NASA’s Chief Knowledge Officer Drives Change

Carla O'Dell's picture

 As part of my quest to understand how people become experts more quickly in complex scientific and technical disciplines, I interviewed Edward J. Hoffman, chief knowledge officer (CKO) at NASA. Ed ought to know: he founded the NASA Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership and was its director for 20 years before his current CKO gig.