If you’ve visited here before, you might have seen some of my posts about the challenges physicians face in managing their practices. In most medical practices, the physician-owners are also very busy health care providers whose business management time is quite constrained. This makes it that much more difficult to know what’s really happening on the business side of the practice and to make good decisions about business operations. This lack of information may make physicians more susceptible to management biases.
This helpful leadership article from Fast Company spotlights eight of the most common management biases that can lead to less informed decisions.
In our consulting work, we sometimes see the impact of these biases on business management and especially planning and investing by physicians for their practices. For example, confirmation bias — the tendency to value more heavily opinions and information that support what we already believe — can be a greater risk for physicians who don’t have the time (and often the inclination) to dig into business data. Reports that suggest all is well can appear more relevant than “anomalous” financial data that indicates problems.
Another common bias, the sunk cost fallacy, may be unfamiliar to those who’ve never studied economics — but, once you understand it, it’s a powerful way to make better investment decisions (whether you’re investing time, money, staff time, or any other resource).
The Fast Company piece is a fun, fast read, with a useful nuggets to thing about — click here to check it out.