Learners, Learned, And Status Quo Bias

Lynne Kiesling

As I mentioned earlier, I have been thinking about status quo bias and policy change. So I was primed to be looking for things even when in leisure reading mode, apparently. I was cruising around and ended up at Sand in the Gears, where in a recent post Tony Woodlief points out two quotes that pertain directly to my quest for breaking through status quo bias:

In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. — Eric Hoffer

It is much cheaper to make yourself obsolete than to be made obsolete by your competitors. — Peter Drucker

And perhaps sometimes it’s even cheaper still to remain a learner in the face of dynamic change, and use that capability to innovate your business model, your value propositions, your adoption of technology, your culture, your mindset, to avoid becoming obsolete.

I like these two quotes because they reflect my deep belief in the importance of flexibility and evolution, and the ability to adapt to changing and unknown and unknowable circumstances.

So perhaps another aspect of overcoming status quo bias is cultivating a culture of the learner mindset.

This line of thought also brings to mind one of my favorite quotes:

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. — William James