Implicit Association & Organizational Performance

In the book titled Blink, Malcolm Gladwell throws light on the split second decisions we make. Gladwell has a reputation of taking simple things that we take for granted and then systematically deconstructing it to reveal something extraordinary.

Gladwell highlights the results of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to demonstrate the way we form associations and how our unconscious mind jumps to certain conclusions that’s completely contrary to our stated beliefs as espoused by our conscious minds. He highlights several examples including the example of a test that goes to prove that even the author (whose mother is black) ends up with a pro-white association!

What really jumped out from this study is the need to administer IAT to employees as well. Enterprises are riddled with biases and these create powerful mental associations that could potentially unhinge collaborative efforts and dialog. For example, R&D might be under the assumption that the entire sales team’s intellectual capacity is not much more than that of a boiled potato or the sales team might consider the R&D team to be a bunch of nerds that have never seen the daylight in their lives. Such mental associations results all kinds of prejudices that can derail harmonious collaboration among the departments and teams. The same is true for a team.

You can try out the IAT online here. Check out this interview with Malcolm Gladwell.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy


I love to read and share thoughts on technology, enterprise learning, mobile and any thing cool that impacts enterprises.

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Posted in Learning

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