Rishabh Jhol Profile picture
16 Oct, 10 tweets, 5 min read
Thinking back to my #MBA class on #Leadership, discussing how #cultural #context shapes #decisions.

The #professor presented a scenario:

‘A 50-year old man and his son are driving down the Mass. Pike when they meet with an accident.

They are rushed to the hospital. The chief surgeon, who was the only one on duty at the time, looked at the bodies and exclaimed – “I can’t operate; he is my son.” A hospital convention prevented doctors to operate on immediate relatives.’

“What do you think is going on here?” The professor asked this #culturally #diverse class.

There were various answers in the room.

One student submitted that the surgeon could be the biological father while the man driving was the stepfather.

Another submitted that the surgeon and the father could be gay couples, and the boy would be their adopted son.

Someone suggested that the surgeon was in fact the father of the 50-year old man as it was commonplace in his country for chief surgeons to be more than 75 years old.

The professor smiled while making an observation that most ‘such’ answers came from students from western Europe and US, while students from South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa took more time to make much sense of the ‘situation.’

The answer – the Chief Surgeon was the Mother.

It was powerful reminder of decision #biases in our #reasoning abilities.

This was a group of students that represented 11 nationalities, had average experience of 9 years, average age of 30 years, 30% women, and were professionals from the field of management to medicine to aviation to sports to education.

Yet, no one predicted that the chief surgeon could be a woman.

Worse, it wasn’t specific to this group. Studies after studies of such experiments have confirmed such biases.

I am reminded of this lesson after listening to a #masterclass yesterday by @ErinMeyerINSEAD for @netcapglobal where she was discussing her new book @NoRulesRules with @utkarsh_amitabh

Highly recommend!


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More from @rjhol7

14 Oct
Here’s the thing about meeting people after many many years: they are anchored to a version of you that may no longer define you. They are convinced that you owe it to them to follow-through on your earlier #life plans.

I met an ex-colleague after more than half-a-decade. It was like any such meeting. Fake warmth to masquerade stocktaking about who did better in the lost time. Offering pleasantries only enough to veil judging and pontificating. And then banter.

“Dude, howsoever you want to frame it, you’ve done a #career suicide. I am sure you know it but won’t care to admit.”

“The only thing I know for sure is what I have been able to avoid: suicide by career.”

“Well, at least you’ve still got your defensive reasoning skills.”

Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
Story of Emperor Norton and it's implication for #entrepreneurship

While on a hop-on hop-off tour of the city of San Fransisco, I learned about Emperor Norton.

Norton was a 19th century Englishman who lost all his money, and subsequently his mental faculties, on Peruvian rice trade. He re-emerged after some years and declared himself as Norton I, Emperor of the United States.

He gave imperial proclamations and had eccentric ways of living and appearance. But people humored him. Some treated his words with deference, issued currency in his name.

He died on the streets. Yet, his funeral was attended by 30,000 residents of the city.

Read 7 tweets

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