The diet industry thrives on those looking for a quick and easy fix. The inconvenient truth being that the only long term solution to better health is to eat better and move more.
Patrick Lencioni (The Advantage) lists three biases we hold that affect our ability to change:
Sophistication Bias: organizational health is so simple and accessible that many have a hard time seeing it as a real opportunity for meaningful advantage
Adrenaline Bias: becoming healthy takes time; unfortunately many suffer from a chronic case of adrenaline addiction, hooked on the daily rush of activity and firefighting within their organization
Quantification Bias: the benefits of becoming a healthy organization, as powerful as they are, are difficult to accurately quantify
Our sophistication bias leads us to continuously search for the answer. It must be out there somewhere. We’ve hired the best people so why are we not succeeding? Maybe we just need to invest more? Should we go visit other companies and see what they are doing.
Consultancy firms are well aware of this bias. Armed with their slick Powerpoint decks, their suit clad armies descend to regale us with their mystical framework that will answer everything. Bill points out that if it’s that obvious, everybody would be doing it. However he is summarily dismissed because after all, he buys his clothes at Target and who invited him anyway.
So we enroll in the new diet. The short-term effects are really encouraging. Boy did we show Bill. Six months later the buzz wears off. Not only that we’re in a worse shape than we were before. We hold a post-mortem. Where did we go wrong? Of course, it’s obvious, we chose the wrong vendor. And so it continues. Three failed attempts later someone asks what happened to Bill but of course he is long gone.