Listening to Radio National, I recently heard scientist Len Fisher speaking about the impact of relying on intuition when dealing with complex challenges – and about the danger of believing that if something sounds right, it probably is.
In RiskIQ, we often see clever, thoughtful people discussing a complex situation and making a decision based on collective experience and intuition. If the ‘right’ people are in the room and the conversation goes well, they will probably leave the meeting with a confidence (often false) that everything is on the right track.
Later, when things don’t go as foreseen, other biases come into play to prevent them from recognising or accepting that an underlying root cause of the poor outcome, is that they applied intuition and experience without first doing the exploration, examination and analysis necessary to better understand the complex system they were dealing with.
Is brain laziness and a desire to not overtax ourselves an underlying human biase? Len Fisher seems to think so.