Cognitive bias in the church

I don’t manage people, but I thought this article from the Harvard Business Review (registration required) spoke in terms that sound quite similar to what the church deals with, especially this description of the problems at JC Penny.

Yet, the workforce that Johnson inherited at JC Penney seemed no less guilty of having their own mental hang-ups, including: defense-attribution bias (for failing to recognize that JC Penney was a sinking ship long before Johnson arrived), Dunning-Kruger effect (for failing to see their roles in making that ship sink), and status-quo bias (for refusing to acknowledge that change was needed). Moreover, in a stunning display of large-scale, bounded rationality, more than 4600 of JC Penney’s head office staff used nearly 35% of the company’s broadband for streaming Youtube during office hours in 2012. In other words, a significant portion of the JC Penney workforce failed to see any connection between their loafing activities and the company’s poor performance.



2 thoughts on “Cognitive bias in the church

  1. Have you read Kotter’s Urgency? Every pastor should. He addresses so much of this and it is applicable to the church.

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