Showing posts from May, 2022

The Law of the Instrument

Jeff Geerling (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) It's been said that "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." That's a cognitive bias called the 'Law of the Instrument,' and one that I've encountered in the workplace a number of times. It might sound familiar to you as well.  The worst example I can give is of the time I worked in a division of a company that used Power Point for pretty much everything. All reporting took place through Power Point slides, which is fine for high level presentations but not great when you need to get into details. Not long into my employment I was told emphatically that I had to create a 'detailed project plan' in Power Point. On one occasion I joined a meeting to discover that the person running it had used a one slide Power Point deck for the agenda. It was as if no one could imagine there being a different way to work. Honestly, I don't know how it gets this bad in an organization. That it becomes a hidebou