[The Knowledge Project Ep. #144] Gary Klein: Insights For Making Better Decisions
Shane: So you’re a cognitive psychologist who has spent your entire career observing how other people make decisions, but you took an interesting angle to this. Rather than focus on how to make better decisions directly, you approached it from, how we can develop expertise? To make better decisions, we can sort of reduce errors or have better insight or preferably both. And yet, these often seem in conflict with one another. I thought a good place to start this would be, what sparks insight and what prevents us from putting our insights into use? Is it because they often contradict the beliefs we hold?
Gary: An insight definitely is going to be incompatible with the beliefs we hold. That’s why we’re surprised. I did a study of 120 examples of insights. I wondered where insights came from. And I did the study out of frustration because I would give talks and I would say, “If you want to improve performance, there are two things you can do.” And there would be like a down arrow, what you want to reduce, and an up arrow, what you want to increase. And to improve performance, what you want to reduce is errors. And that’s what most organizations do. They try to cut down on errors. But they’re missing the up arrow of increasing insights. And so, most organizations only focus on reducing their errors.
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