Believe it or not, cognitive science can help us make better business decisions and avoid costly business mistakes. Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is a behavioral economist and cognitive neuroscientist who is an expert at helping business owners recognize and overcome their internal “cognitive biases”. In this episode of Onward Nation, Dr. Tsipursky explains the science of decision-making and shares how our tribal instincts often lead us to make the wrong “gut decisions”. He outlines a realistic timeline of the global pandemic and shares tips and strategies for better judgment and taking the right risks while avoiding the wrong ones so that your business can navigate the pandemic and come roaring out the other side.
By our nature, most entrepreneurs are predisposed to see things from a more optimistic perspective. While this isn’t inherently a bad thing, it can cause us to take unnecessary risks with our businesses. As Dr. Tsipsurky explains, many of the decisions we make are informed by “cognitive biases”, subconscious thought processes left over from mankind’s early, tribal stage. These gut feelings are often ill-equipped to handle the complexities of modern life, yet we are inclined to “listen to our gut” even when it is leading us in the wrong direction. However, by asking ourselves the right questions, we can avoid the trap of the various kinds of cognitive bias that color our decisions. The five key questions Dr. Tsipsurky shared are:
One of the most pronounced ways “optimism bias” expresses itself can be seen in how we view the global pandemic. Many people are inclined to hold steady and “wait out” the crisis, but as Dr. Tipsursky explained during the interview, the reality is that the chaos and changes wrought by the pandemic are likely to be with us for a long time. Due to the logistics of developing, storing, deploying and administering a potential vaccine, the challenges we are facing today are very likely to be the “new abnormal” for the next several years. As business leaders, it is important to accept this and begin planning long-term strategy around the new reality of business. While an end to these challenging times is certainly in sight and offers hope for a bright future, businesses must be prepared to navigate the many challenges they face in the meantime. The steps entrepreneurs take today can help their businesses reach the light at the end of the tunnel even stronger than before, but only if we make the right decisions through clarity and intentionality.