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What is a Bias For Action?

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Bias for action is a propensity to act without extensive thought or planning. It is based on the idea that speed is a significant advantage in business and that regular action builds strengths and drives learning. Promoters of bias for action also claim that poor decisions can often be quickly reversed and therefore there is no need for intensive planning or decision making.

Bias for Action vs Mediocrity

Bias for action is beneficial to organizations in which employees commonly seek reasons not to act as opposed to pushing business forward with urgency. If your team is having meetings to plan meetings and is developing plans to develop plans -- you may be vulnerable to competition from firms embracing a bias for action.

Bias for Action & Sales

Some professions simply require a bias for action. This tends to apply to professions such as sales where actions have little potential for risk but significant potential for reward.

Bias for Action & Risk

Bias for action isn't a productive approach in professions or activities that involve highly competitive risk taking and strategy. For example, investors tend to have an irrational urge to act when the price of a stock goes up or down. Economic theories such as the efficient market hypothesis suggest that such price movements are simply reflecting the future earnings potential of the security relative to the rest of the market. As such, switching in and out of stocks causes transaction costs and isn't likely to produce a reward.
Overview: Bias For Action
A propensity to act without extensive thought or planning.
Tends to work when your competition are inactive and overly conservative.
Valuable to pursuits such as sales that involve rewards for actions and few real risks.
May fail in competitive pursuits that involve strategy and risk as high quality decisions begin to matter.
Related Concepts

Organizational Culture

This is the complete list of articles we have written about organizational culture.
Adaptive Performance
Bias For Action
Business Strategy
Catfish Management
Change Fatigue
Change Management
Corporate Governance
Corporate Identity
Corporate Image
Corporate Memory
Corporate Narcissism
Creativity Of Constraints
Culture Fit
Culture Of Fear
Curiosity Drive
Decision Making
Digital Maturity
Disability Etiquette
Employee Behavior
Employee Dissatisfaction
Employee Expectations
Ethical Climate
Expert Culture
Failing Upwards
Failure Is Not An Option
Genchi Genbutsu
Goal Setting
Heliotropic Effect
Human Error
Human Factors
Humble Leadership
Hygiene Factors
Internal Branding
Internal Environment
Intrinsic Motivation
Knowledge Loss
Knowledge Management
Leadership Style
Lessons Learned
Malicious Compliance
Management By Absence
Management By Walking Around
Market Culture
Matrix Management
Negative Culture
Negative Selection
Nudge Theory
Office Politics
Organizational Capital
Organizational Complexity
Organizational Culture
Organizational Resilience
Organizational Structure
Organizing Principle
Performance Management
Petty Authority
Political Correctness
Professional Conduct
Quality Of Life
Red Tape
Resistance To Change
Satellite Office
Self-Organizing Team
Shadow Of The Leader
Strong Culture
Team Culture
Tolerance For Disagreement
Trained Incapacity
Unspoken Rule
Work Culture
Work Environment
Work Ethic
Work-Life Balance
Working Conditions
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