The Strategy Paradox: Those who are paid to think strategically spend an average of just 90 seconds to 4.5 minutes per day doing so.

Wham make it big 768x768
Rebecca Ryan, APF
Rebecca Ryan, APF

I loved WHAM!

I loved George Michael's vocals and sex appeal. I loved Andrew Ridgeley's poetic eyes. I was a swooning teen and Make it Big was the first album I bought.

Looking at the cover again now, I can feel the same angsty feelings I had then. I wanted to fit in so badly...

  • with my grey Members Only jacket
  • with my jeans "pegged" at the ankle
  • with my oversized aqua sweater

Fitting in - and not being ostracized - is a timeless human desire, and it's at peak emo in middle and high school.

Our human longing to fit in can morph into a cognitive bias.

Bandwagon bias refers to humans' urge to belong and conform. It may cause us to think or act in a certain way if we believe others are doing the same.

Bandwagon bias has downsides. Your parents called it out when you were a teen asking, "If everyone else jumps off a bridge, will you, too!?"

When everyone thinks the same way - but it's flawed or shortsighted - it can be dangerous, even fatal. The movie Don't Look Up is a study in bandwagon bias and how painful it is to tell the truth when no one wants to hear it.

See: The Cognitive Bias Codex
One antidote to bandwagon bias is red teaming.


If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our newsletter.

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Rebecca Ryan, APF

Rebecca Ryan captains the ship. Trained as a futurist and an economist, Rebecca helps clients see what's coming - as a keynote speaker, a Futures Lab facilitator, an author of books, blogs and articles, a client advisor, and the founder of Futurist Camp. Check out her blog or contact Lisa Loniello for more information.

The Cognitive Bias Codex

4 Ways Cognitive Biases Help You

Are cognitive biases bad? No. We need cognitive biases. Our brain developed these biases, AKA shortcuts, to prevent us from becoming overwhelmed and paralyzed by lif...

Rebecca Ryan, APF
Rebecca Ryan, APF
Photo of a light house, stormy sea, and sunrise

Preparing for a new day in leadership, finance, and innovation

Insights from our Futures Friday episode with experts in municipal finance and governance, government innovation, and foresight

Yasemin Arikan
Yasemin Arikan
A man wearing jeans and a backpack walking down a trail through the Muir Woods

What Does Your BIG Future Look Like?

Defining a "Big Future" is an art and science. David offers examples of how this looks at the personal, business, and community levels.

David G. Brown
David G. Brown