Next week, I’m giving a presentation to forty CEO’s and CIO’s from Fortune 100 companies on how the science of attention blindness can help us make decisions. These “10 Rules for Smart Decisions (Despite Our Attention Blindness)” distill all the funny stories, serious experiments, and pretty hilarious examples. Feel free to add your own!
1. Be aware of the brain’s structural limits (it won’t fix them but gives you a fighting chance).
2. Remember expertise has its own blinders.
3. Only call the errors you have to call (referee’s logic: call the errors everyone sees).
4. Reward the court jester (you need someone who will say there’s a gorilla in the room).
5. Exhale fiercely (the calming inhale follows naturally and will take care of the rest)
6. Divide attention strategically.
7. Embrace distraction as your friend (it helps break old habits).
8. Model unlearning.
9. Maximize risk, minimize exposure (skunkworks still work).
10. Be humble (there’s far more we don’t know about the brain than we do).