The Impact Of Bias On Innovation


If you think that unconscious bias only applies to interpersonal relationships, think again. Bias can have a massive impact on your organization’s ability to innovate effectively.

Not too long ago, a well-known organization developed a mobile app that let people upload videos to their website using their phone. The company quickly noticed that about 10% of the videos were being uploaded upside down. At first, they assumed user error, but eventually they observed something unique about the users. They were all left handed. The way they swiped their phones started and ended at a different place than right handed users. No one on the development team was left handed, so they had unconsciously assumed that all users swiped their phones the same way.

Human beings are prone to bring their own view of the world into all that they do, especially when trying to innovate. That leaves us susceptible to bias.

To improve innovation, you should hire and develop a talented and diverse group of people who can question assumptions and see the world the way your customers do—all of them!


Unconscious biases are hard to identify, much less know their true impact. Before you can take steps to operate more fairly and effectively at work, you need to get your bearings. Download our latest guide: Seven Misconceptions About Unconscious Bias. 

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