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Who Challenges Your Thinking? Do You Need “Affirmative Action”?

Adam Hartung, Manny Teran
Bias, affirmative action, ivy league schools, leadership, ALDC, harvard

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Last podcast we discussed how assumptions lead to biases which can lead to bad decision making.  We often don’t know what we don’t know, so we plunder forward hoping what used to work will continue to work.  But the world changes, and often we fail to change because nobody pressures us to change.

The US Supreme Court is again looking at whether race and other factors should be used in Ivy League admissions – or should entrance be a pure meritocracy.  This podcast looks into the fact that the admissions process is already highly biased, allowing people in the door through athletics, legacy alumni relationships, dean list preferences and being the children of professors.  Without even looking at applications, it is clear that admissions are biased by past decisions, limiting diversity.

As we look to lead our companies, who do we have challenging our assumptions and biases?  Who can discuss openly with leadership how markets and customers have changed, threatening old approaches and opening doors for new competition?  If you don’t have diversity in employment, and on your leadership team, you won’t have these alternative viewpoints.  This podcast explains why you do need some sort of “affirmative action” for your decision-making processes.  And if it doesn’t fit to have these people in your company, you can hire them as gig workers or consultants to give you the alternative point of view.

Thinking points:

• How diverse is your leadership team?

• Who has the power to challenge the leaders when making decisions?

• Who from outside can challenge your internal “group thinking?”

• Where do you go to seek out challenges to your assumptions and biases?