Why Did The Boeing 737 Max Crash? (Or why academia needs to shed its risk aversion)

I stumbled on this excellent long form- while the write up is about aircraft but this passage is “eerily familiar”!

I’d be exploring this more.

In a culture of risk aversion, people hesitate to make necessary but impactful decisions which re-orient the company. To avoid blame, higher-ups and employees reject bold visions and adopt a status quo bias. In similar fashion, grant approvals for scientists have to pass through layers of approval. By the time they reach the end of the grant approval process, the ideas are watered down to the point of triviality. Paradoxically, the kinds of projects you can receive a grant for are probably too conventional. Transformative change is usually unpopular. But when you apply for a grant, the need to adapt to social conventions make it difficult to pursue paradigm-shifting work. Innovation slows and like the Boeing 737, necessary changes aren’t made.

via Why Did The Boeing 737 Max Crash? — David Perell

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