- Driving out or terminating those with the most talent, domain expertise and smarts essential to success
- Rewarding and recruiting agreeable sorts without a clue how to solve the problems and keep the customers satisfied
- Dismissing bad news passed on first hand from customers as acts of betrayal by the messenger, not important messages
- Throwing money at bad investments, showy improvements and futile endeavors while neglecting the core of the enterprise
Since I first noticed the pattern of bad decisions, I've researched how it can happen to consistently, why it's so alluring to those caught up in it and what makes it so difficult to avoid. Here's a few dimensions of what I've learned:
- When our minds are making decisions about dangers, threats or enemies, we skew the evidence, over-react to provocations and cling to legacy practices out of desperation.
- When situations are stirring up a lot of anxiety, guilt feelings, and self-incrimination, we uncontrollably take our frustrations out on others regardless of the consequences.
- When we're afraid of going out of business, our fears serve as self-fulfilling prophesies as we become blinded to alternatives, wary of creativity and opposed to nuanced assessments.
- When we feel we are under siege from critics, whistle blowers and nay sayers, we stick to our own kind, find fault with those who disagree and blame others for our problems.