According to Aristotle, our desire for knowledge is what defines us as humans and sets our mind apart.

Information is always thought of as an attractive resource. In the business world, it can be exciting acquiring new information. With it, businesses get to become more agile, smarter and make better decisions.

"Stupidity’s the deliberate cultivation of ignorance" --- William Gaddis

How do you know if you are being Deliberately Ignorant?

To see if you are being deliberately ignorant in the ways you are leading your team, consider the following:

  • Are there any factual information you are refusing to review that would suggest you need to change some of your processes?
  • Are there industry or professional trends you don’t want to acknowledge or read about just because they would require you to learn new skills or use your time differently?
  • Do you justify your lack of personal or professional development by always saying you are too busy?
  • Do you put off conversations with some people on your team because you know the actions to be taken after conversing with them won’t be comfortable for you or them?

So what are the other offsides of deliberate ignorance for businesses?

  • It can limit your success and competitiveness in the global market: Deliberate Ignorance can lead to information avoidance. In today’s constantly-changing world, being open to new information is very important to being successful in the global market. With this, you not only get a more complete picture but you also make smarter decisions that enable professional and personal growth. When you are being deliberately ignorant, the continual influx of updated knowledge needed to thrive and stay competitive won’t be available
  • It can lead you to make worse decisions: By deliberately ignoring the existence of a problem, you can’t actively collect information that’d enable you to weigh in all the options to make the best possible decision. Consequently, there is the possibility of circumstances deciding in your place or you being forced to make a decision when It is too late. And it is going to be difficult making good decisions when you are on the rope. The first step in the risk management process is to acknowledge the reality of risk. Denial is a common tactic that substitutes deliberate ignorance for thoughtful planning.
  • It can lead to permanent unhappiness: It is often said that Ignorance is bliss, but that’s wrong. The thing is, deliberate ignorance doesn’t mean not knowing, rather it is an intentional avoidance of knowledge and information. This act of ignorance is conscious and intentional, meaning that problem – although you pretend it doesn’t exist – still stays active in a part of our mind, creating uncertainty, tension and of course unhappiness.
  • It can create a snowball effect: Another ominous consequence of deliberate ignorance is that just like a snowball, the ignored problem grows as it rolls down the hands of time, dragging along whatever it finds in its path. Avoiding problems only serve to aggravate them. That meeting you are unwilling to call, will eventually make the situation worse.
  • It can lead to impossibility in reaching your business goals: When you are being deliberately ignorant sometimes due to the perspective you take, in order to avoid a negative event, you won’t be able to objectively analyze any situation you find yourself, hence making it much more difficult in reaching your business goals. In fact, it increases the chances of deviating from your core objectives and engaging in irrelevant activities.

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