| John Spacey, December 11, 2015 updated on October 18, 2016
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 MediocrityBias 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 & SalesSome 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 & RiskBias 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.
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