Your Monthly Inclusion Nudge: ‘All candidates ready now’ instead of ‘Who is ready?’

This is a ‘Process Inclusion Nudge’.
You can learn more on page 145 in the Inclusion Nudges Guidebook 2nd edition

 

The Challenge

We all have thinking tendencies (biases) such as seeking out information to support what we already believe (confirmation bias) and over-valuing information we receive early on in an evaluation (anchoring and the halo effect). We also tend to rate recent performance more highly than earlier performance. This results in unequal evaluations, thus unequal opportunities for career opportunities and a loss of performance potential in the organisation. And we tend to opt-in on people who fit the implicit norm and have similarities to ourselves.

 

How it works: The Inclusion Nudge

Change the default in the meetings where candidates are being evaluated/discussed for a promotion or successor plan:

from “Who is ready?” to “All candidates ready now

(‘All’ from a pool of candidates, team, department, level, etc.).

Then, managers argue from that default and find facts for both “Why not?” and “Why” for each person,
instead of only “Why?” in the ‘who is ready’ default.

This broaden the pool of candidates being evaluated, it shifts the perspective on what it means to be ready, it reduces bias in the decision making process, and promotes more objective evaluations.

Why it works: Behavioural Insights

Changing the default has been used in many situations to positive effect, such as in organ donation programs by shifting the default to all are signed up and can sign out if they want to, and in education by starting a course with all students assigned an ‘A’ (the highest grade).

Using default nudges to foster more inclusion changes thinking from an unconscious to a conscious search for facts. Selecting the best qualified candidates requires that we view a diverse pool of candidates, but most people have difficulty opting in on a person who is not like the majority, do not fit the implicit norm in the organisation, is a minority, does not look or communicate like those already working in that position, etc.. This requires more effort and the complexity in choosing and opting in on someone we do not recognise as a ‘fit’ is difficult. With the ‘all are ready now’ default we make sure it does not require a lot of effort to opt in on ‘outliers’ (visual diversity) and we make it less likely that they are going to opt out on a qualified candidate (due to visual diversity or not obvious cultural ‘fit’).

Read more in the Inclusion Nudges Guidebook

The 3rd Edition of the Guidebook with 100+ examples is coming our in 2019