As humans and professionals, we make assumptions every day – based on our experience, the world around us, our intuition or ego.
And it’s these biases which can become the compass for strategic decisions, in life or business.
Conscious bias may be easier to identify but if it’s linked to ego, harder to break.
For example – I made an assumption when starting Robinhood Co-Living – ‘if you build it they will come
We parked our first site in Naggar India – a marketplace with 25x less tourist traffic than surrounding markets.
Why? Because the peaceful village felt like heaven to us and believed the Himalayas are a perfect place for professional workforces.
We were wrong, or at least 3/4 years ahead of the curve (let’s see). Until recently it’s been a challenge to drive consistent traffic to this off-beaten-path location.
The key learning and bias… We are not Apple….and might have big egos!
Creating demand for a new product, coliving, in an unknown geography is more challenging than redirecting existing demand from an established one – unless you are a well-known brand.
An example of unconscious bias is the assumption made around office utility.
Pre Pandemic, very few people sat at their desks thinking the labour model could be inefficient. As a result, arguably trillions of hours and dollars were wasted across service-based economies.
If bias is a part of existence, how can we identify and cope with it? Here are 3 Methods:
1) Stop, Sit & Observe. Far too often we operate in ‘racing’ mode, running between tasks without space to reflect. In the race, our narrative on the world becomes fixed and we are less open to challenging belief structures.
In this pause, we can observe the narrative, analyze its logic and ascertain if bias exists.
2) 3rd Party Validation – If we’re also open to content testing and critiques of assumptions, maintaining objectivity becomes easier.
3) Keep Walking. If bias exists, it will be revealed in time. The question is, how long will it take to accept learnings and adapt to new approaches?
Just hope you don’t walk yourself off the mountain in the process!
And with views like this, can you blame me for being biased about our beautiful Himalayan village 😉