Prime Advantage Blog

Check Your Biases at the Door

Guest Contributor on Oct 6, 2015 6:00:00 AM

As part of Prime Advantage, Endorsed Suppliers have been invited to share their insights on the present and future of manufacturing success. In this post, Craig Wilson, from American Recruiters, looks at personal biases and how they may impact our purchasing decisions.

Fall has officially arrived and here in Chicago there is finally a hint of Cubs playoffs in the air. (I know it is hard to believe, but please, these are the lovable losers. Of course the Bears are still a mess so it all balances out!) Fall is a time for change: leaves, temperature, colors, amount of day light, etc. It is also the time to make changes in our business planning, goals and objectives. I would like to share with you some portions of an interesting article I recently read in a publication which focuses on the future i09.  The article is titled The 12 Cognitive Biases that Prevent You from Being Rational. These predispositions really do affect the way we make decisions and by sharing them with my fellow industry professionals, it is my hope that we will be able to make better purchasing decisions and change our environment for the better. Here are some of the more common biases we see almost on a daily basis:


  • Confirmation Bias: unconscious act of referencing only those perspectives that fuel our pre-existing views.

  • Gambler’s Fallacy: we place a tremendous amount of weight on previous events, believing that they will influence future outcomes.

  • Post-Purchase Rationalization: A kind of built-in mechanism that makes us feel better after we made a bad decision.

  • Neglecting Probability: Our inability to properly grasp a proper sense of peril and risk. (We have a 1 in 84 chance of dying in a vehicular accident as compared to a 1 in 5,000 chance of dying in a plane crash, but more people are afraid to fly than drive.)

  • Status-Quo Bias: We don’t like change so we make decisions that often lead us to guarantee things will remain the same.

It is great when the world is seemingly in sync with our thoughts and viewpoints. But it won't always bring us to the right answer, just one that we can justify. We need to seek out a differing perspective and listen to the challenge. Sometimes defending our opinions can bring insight. Understanding our interpretations may help us change our current purchasing decision making process. I know I have looked at some of my biases and it has made a huge difference in my success.

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Topics: Strategic Sourcing, Procurement, Talent and Leadership

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