We all have blind spots, not only in our vision, but also in our thinking. This Future Salon will help you spot your own blind sides. Please join us on Wednesday the 30th of June RSVP http://bit.ly/9Bny5B.Imagine if programmers were stuck with the Intel 4004 architecture (perhaps the first microprocessor) and had to write better software to work around its many limitations in memory and speed. At the least, they'd bitterly complain. Many would despair of creating modern applications. Yet, in a sense, that's the situation we face with using our cognitive hardware (our brains) to make modern decisions. The physiological hardware of our brains has been essentially unchanged for 35,000 years.
The limits of human cognition are especially apparent with conscious decision making and social or group decisions. This month's speaker, Peter Marks, has conducted significant research in what he calls "Blind Spotting." It turns out that we have more than a hundred documented cognitive and perceptual biases that often hide aspects of reality from conscious examination. The last decade's stunning research on mirror neurons and imitation figures in this as well.
Most of these biases had evolutionary value years ago. And we still
can make good largely subconscious decisions, guided by experience and emotion,
in many areas. But, our biases often turn out to be a liability in
today's world. For example they lead us to believe the world in only
6000 years old, that there were WMD in Iraq, that Bernie Madoff is a
financial genius, and a host of other errors of belief and attention in
business, science, and politics. In a figurative sense, we're all at
least partially blind to our past, present, and especially the future.
The last few years have provided ample evidence we humans just aren't that good at seeing the present or predicting the future. Should BP executives have spent $500,000 to follow safety protocols to avoid the risk of what looks to be a $50,000,000,000 catastrophe? How did Bernie Madoff manage to con hundreds of otherwise smart and capable people for decades? Why are companies -- and the nation -- so often split into warring factions?
Topics we'll cover include a brief nod to the 100+ biases we all share, the ten main underlying (and at least partly innate) factors behind these, and a discussion of concrete steps we can take to make better decisions -- especially when the stakes are high.
Peter Marks is Managing Director of Design Insight, in Santa Cruz, CA. Marks has published more than 80 articles, 200 benchmark studies, three books, and several films covering various aspects of new product and process development. His book, Aligning Technology for Best Business Results, has been widely praised and translated to German, French, and Japanese. It was the first to discuss business and technology alignment. A second book on Winning Products (understanding the psychology of customer buying decisions) was sponsored by IBM and made part of their internal best practices (the Customer $APPEALS methodology).
Prior to founding Design Insight, Marks’ experience included teaching (visual perception, biomedical instrumentation) industrial research (machining technology), automotive manufacturing (as a Ford Motor Co. manufacturing engineering manager), publishing (an award-winning developer of technical education programs) and a senior executive at two computer-aided engineering companies (one now part of Siemens). He founded Design Insight in 1988.
Future Salons have the following structure: 6-7pm is networking with light refreshments proudly sponsored by SAP; 7-9+pm is the presentation followed by questions and discussion. Please RSVP http://bit.ly/9Bny5B
SAP Labs North America, Building D, COIL (Co-Innovation Lab). SAP is located at 3410 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94304[map]. Free and open to the public. Please spread the word and invite others, but be sure to RSVP http://bit.ly/9Bny5B so we know how many people to expect.