How could Microsoft miss the Internet? Why was Google so slow to appreciate the importance of social networking? Why did Coke and Pepsi ignore bottled water for years? In none of these cases can you argue that the companies were just full of dozy stupid people. How could News Corporation not know about phone hacking? Why didn't the banks see the risks they were running?
All of these are huge public blunders made by 100s of smart people who could have, should have known better. So why didn't they?
In her new book, WILLFUL BLINDNESS: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril Margaret Heffernan outlines the behaviors, structures and biology that make us not notice the things we most need to be aware of. How can we prevent such huge mistakes? If we could see better - would we be more inventive? More creative? If so, what are the barriers that we need to remove in our personal and professional lives - today?
Margaret Heffernan is an international businesswoman and writer. She is the author of three books: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman’s Manifesto about Business and What Really Matters, How She Does It (published in paperback as Women on Top) and Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril. Heffernan’s articles on business leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation have appeared in Fast Company, Huffington Post, BNet, Real Business, Reader’s Digest and London Business School’s Strategy Review. Heffernan speaks to corporations, associations, universities, and education conferences about such topics as managing high-achieving talent, continuous innovation and the role of leaders in serving the talent they hire. While Heffernan’s first two books focused on these issues as they impact women in the workplace, her overarching theme has been the need to recognize and release the talent that often lies buried inside organizations, under-valued and under-rewarded because it is unconventional. Heffernan’s voice is primarily one of critical challenge, taking little at face value and regularly questioning received wisdom. Her motto is "Let's not play the game, let's change it."
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