How does a company cope with change? It’s a question that looms large for many executives who are struggling to keep up with the breakneck pace of business. Those who fail to answer it may face loss of market share, or, in extreme cases, financial ruin. All too often, companies respond to these pressures by fixating on the future, not realizing that their greatest strength could be hidden in their past.
The Task Unification Technique is great because it generates novel ideas that tend to be novel and resourceful. Task Unification is defined as: assigning an additional task to an existing resource. That resource should be in the immediate vicinity of the problem, or what we call The Closed World. In essence, it's taking something that is already around you and giving an additional job.
Here are two great examples, one about a very young person and the other about a new and nifty device for old people.
When you try on a new piece of clothing, like a shirt or a new jacket, what do you see when you look in the mirror? If you’re like most consumers, you’re not looking at the clothing. Rather, you’re looking at yourself and thinking about how that new clothing fits the image of the person you are or want to become.
On any given day, it’s estimated that 1 in 25 hospital patients in the U.S. has at least one healthcare-associated infection (HAI), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That includes pneumonia; gastrointestinal illness; or infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream or surgical site.
Sadly, despite enormous resources aimed at preventing the problem, HAIs continue to result in infection and even death. Moreover, HAIs cost the U.S. healthcare system an estimated $35 billion annually, making it one of the biggest challenges facing hospital chief executive officers. Clearly, a new way of thinking about HAIs is needed.
So what happened here? You were guilty of a bias that we all have called The Hindsight Bias. Hindsight bias, also known as the “knew-it-all-along effect”, is the inclination to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place. Hindsight bias causes you to view events as more predictable than they really are. After an event, people often believe that they knew the outcome of the event before it actually happened.
Think about the last time you bought a car or perhaps a computer. Now, think about the next time you’ll buy one of those items. Are you going to do it exactly the same way as before? If you’re like most consumers, the answer is probably not. That’s because you learned some things from the first experience that will improve your purchasing behavior on the next experience. That's especially true with new, innovative products.
Engineering firm B/E Aerospace has filed a patent for a “legroom adjustable” seat design that allows flight attendants to move a seat forward or back depending on the size of a passenger, reports the Telegraph.
I want you to imagine that you’ve been working on a string of projects, and they’ve all gone very well. You’re talented, hardworking, and ambitious, and you’re on a roll.
Then, your next assignment comes along. It’s a big challenge like the ones before. You’ve got a tight deadline, a limited budget, and lots of pressure to make it a big success. Then, something bad happens. You were faced with a critical decision. You knew ahead of time that you didn’t have all the information, but you made a decision anyway...and it was dead wrong.
So what happened? Well, you may have been guilty of a cognitive bias called overconfidence.