It has a Name!

Think about the last time a bad work situation captured your attention: made you wish for ‘something different.’ What did you do?


According to research recently described on several radio programs, many of us likely did nothing. We did nothing different.


Instead, we likely let the many distractions we face every day and the power of inertia (i.e., “lack of movement or activity especially when movement or activity is wanted or needed” –Merriam Webster) keep us in that same bad situation.


It’s called “status quo bias.” Knowing the name of a phenomenon may make it easier for many people to plan and achieve a change that needs to be made.


Now think about that proverbial “elephant eating” technique: one small bite at a time.


In the context of working with your colleagues and team members, what one small thing could you do differently to create a habit out of your better action to overcome status quo bias?


Would engagement be improved if you

  • Focused your calendar and attention 3 times per week to seek out team members in their work spaces to offer encouragement and positive feedback about the progress they’re making on a project?
  • Took the advice of another researcher to “walk aimlessly” – perhaps in the company of a colleague – for 10 minutes one or two days per week to stimulate creativity?