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With the explosion of social media, we’ve all seen a proliferation of lovely, high-quality photos. Beautiful remote locations, stunning product photos, perfectly framed food dishes – everything looks better, sharper, and professional.

At the same time, the products we use everyday have effected our behavior. Safety features in modern cars and trucks leads to an increase of risky driving. Subconsciously, drivers learn to rely on safety devices like seatbelts, traction control, and automatic stability input to keep their garage missiles upright and safe.

The result is a false belief that our skills have improved. A driver’s risky operation is rewarded by safety advances; but their belief is that they have become a better driver.

Similarly, amateur photographers benefit from micro computers enhancing, stabilizing, framing, and editing their photographs on the fly. Their photography skills did not improve, the device did. The software made decisions without the knowledge or input from the “driver.”

Within our organizations, we need to also be mindful of these system improvements around us. First, to recognize the comparison bias – what is our competition doing that seems super human (it likely is, it is enhanced by automation, AI, or software). But also realizing the bounds of our skills. Are we aware of the benefit we leverage? Are we over-estimating our skill? Have we improved or have the tools around us?

Are we awarding undue credit (in the terms of completion) and are we (wrongly) appropriating the benefits of the systems (people, programs, environment) around us?

All the best,

-Shaun


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