Check out this video about the “Backwards Brain Bicycle” and how our brains work when we have to relearn something we think we already know.
It struck me as especially meaningful, given the speed of change businesses are experiencing due to the convergence of technology and its impact on human potential.
When something is easy, people say it’s like riding a bike. For some people, learning to ride a bike was not easy, but once they learned how to ride a bike the saying applied.
That’s until things change and you must unlearn something familiar and relearn something new.
This is where cognitive bias kicks in…
According to verywellmind.com, “A cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them, and it affects the decisions and judgments that they make.”
To learn something new you must free your brains from the existing cognitive bias, but the only way to do this is to re-designate the bias–forget the old way to make room for the new way.
As the experiment in the video shows, it is easy over time for our thinking to get into a rut. But with enough practice/repetition, new paths will form to make what was hard to do easy.
In the beginning any distraction can throw your brain off, back into the old algorithm and, with concentration, you can pick up where you left off. This is because “knowledge is not understanding”. And understanding is acquired through practice, which takes time.
The moral of the story is, it is one thing to learn something new and another to unlearn something in order to relearn something in a new way.
Either way, it’s always good to take special care when you ask your teams (and customers) to learn something new about your business, because a cognitive bias may exist that can alter the outcome you desire.
Here’s the video.