<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Search
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

Why Bad Business Ideas Happen to Good Business Owners

Jul. 17, 2014 | Posted by The Alternative Board
bad ideas good people

 Matt Ridley is my favorite science writer. He has written for the Wall Street Journal a lot and has also authored what I found to be the most accessible and interesting book on the Genome. Ridley wrote another gem Why Bad Theories Happen to Good Scientists. The article focuses on confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is when scientists attempt to find evidence that supports their theories. A good scientist would operate with the opposite intentions -- as soon as a they developed a new theory, the scientist would prove their theory with unsuccessful attempts at disapproval. However, in practice, scientists spend most of their effort proving their theories - sometimes with very embarrassing results.

Ridley points out that other professionals, doctors and lawyers in particular, have this same confirmation bias. The bias often intensifies as they become more senior in their fields. These professionals have been known to become so confident in their view of the world that they only seek out evidence that supports their own theories. They rationalize observations, opinions, and even evidence that contradicts their beliefs.

Want additional insight? Download Hiring a Business Coach for Your Small Business now 

DOWNLOAD

Anyone reading this post is probably thinking: "I can't believe people do this. I wouldn't do this myself." But we're only human. And confirmation bias is a natural human behavior.

Now think about your business ideas.

What long-held beliefs do you have about your business or your market?

Do you have evidence to support your beliefs?

When was that evidence gathered? With the Internet economy, the marketplace is changing fast. Is your "evidence" still valid?

Who on your team challenges you? Does your team support a "group think" culture of confirmation bias?

As the business owner, have you established a business culture where your employees are not afraid to challenge you and your beliefs?

Want more information on family business topics like succession planning, communications, compensation, and more? Check out TAB's PULSE Survey on Family Business.

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

DOWNLOAD

Written by The Alternative Board

Related posts

Time-Saving Tips for Hyper-Busy Business Leaders
Apr. 13, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
There may be only 24 hours in a day, but with effective time management, business leaders can get a lot done within that limited timeframe. The key is taking steps to eliminate clutter and...
Tips on Going Paperless in 2021
Mar. 11, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Businesses seeking to economize, as the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, should take a close look at going completely paperless in the workplace. Is this really a worthwhile goal?...
5 Tips for Hosting a Virtual Conference
Feb. 23, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
The business landscape has undergone seismic changes since the beginning of the pandemic. Workplace environments are being re-evaluated, with potentially huge implications around the corner. Another...
3 Tips on Vetting Your Most Promising Job Candidates
Feb. 4, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
It would be nice to think that every applicant to a job opening at your business is always telling the truth in their resumes, during their interviews, and throughout the hiring process....
3 Tips for Rethinking Your Business Model
Feb. 2, 2021 | Posted by Phil Spensieri
One of the important lessons the COVID-19 pandemic has taught many business owners is that business agility is a key component to running a successful business. Business owners are challenged more...
The Difference Between a Strategic Plan and a Business Plan
Jan. 14, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Every business needs a strategic plan. Every business needs a business plan. It’s knowing precisely what each plan entails and when that plan can be of most use that makes the difference between...
Improving Your Accounts Receivables Process
Jan. 8, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Most businesses offer a solution to problems or otherwise fulfill a need experienced by their target audience. They can only go on doing this if—in exchange for delivering a valued good or...
Why You Need a Strategic Planning Session
Jan. 5, 2021 | Posted by Phil Spensieri
Kick off your business in 2021 on the right foot by starting at the foundation of every successful business: strategy. Strategy is even more important for your business after the year we all had last...
Now is a Good Time to Cut Business Expenditures
Dec. 30, 2020 | Posted by The Alternative Board
In “normal” times, businesses often face the challenge of reducing expenditures while maintaining efficiency and productivity within their business operations. As we have noted before, “excessive...
How to Build Innovation Through Strategic Planning
Dec. 22, 2020 | Posted by The Alternative Board
At this point, not a lot can be predicted about how businesses will fare in 2021. But one thing’s for sure—innovation, the ability to come up with new products, upgrades, and other breakthroughs,...