As humans, we are boundedly rational. This means that we cannot think of every option or solution when faced with a choice. Technology allows us to optimize results and automatically select the most favorable option, where our minds simply cannot. As humans, we incur temporal and cognitive limitations. These limitations can act a lot like blind spots, preventing us from seeing everything.
Keeping Our Options Open
If we were computers, playing games like tic tac toe would be no fun. The reason is that computers can be trained through reinforcement learning and programming to make the best move at every step of the process to eventually win. By remembering past actions, a computer becomes an expert at playing tic tac toe just like in the 1980’s movie with Matthew Broadrick, War Games.
Our blind spots also explain why we seek advice and expert opinions regarding the important things – our health, finances, career, or education. We rely on science to explain the world around us and technology to inform us of our options and enable us to access information at the tip of our fingers. Technologies that did not exist three decades ago have come to shape how we make decisions on a massive scale. We do this because we want to succeed.
Computers supply us with important information, but if we rely on this information alone, we miss something crucial – the discernment necessary to apply information. It’s ok that we are not human calculators and automated solution generators. We have gaps and blind spots, and we don’t know everything. If we want to make informed decisions that will lead us to where we want to go – we need help. We need other people. We need people who think differently than ourselves. The more diverse the better to reveal our blind spots.
Narrowing the Gaps
The more data points available to us, the smaller our blind spots will be. Imagine fusing your mind with all of its knowledge, expertise, and blind spots with someone else’s mind. There will be some overlap, but the result is a more expansive knowledge base and inevitably fewer blind spots. Multiply that fusing process with more and more people, and you will have an increasingly broad perspective.
If we all had the same skills and perspectives, not only would that be quite boring, but it would be very limiting. The more diverse our shared knowledge, the more informed our decisions and the greater our ability will be to solve problems with fresh perspectives and in new ways.
We need a diverse workforce in order to succeed. Increased information and diverse perspectives will narrow our blind spots and multiply our chances of success. What steps are you taking to ensure you are offering a fair opportunity and ultimately hiring candidates who might be different than you?