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The Cost of Status Quo

Melvyn Tan
Melvyn Tan
1 min read

To increase the take-up rate from 42 percent to 82 percent for their campaign, scientists Eric Johnson and Dan Goldstein made one simple but profound change.

Leveraging the concept of defaults, Johnson and Goldstein asked if people would opt out of organ donation, instead of opting in.

The pain of losing

The decision to donate your organ may be a personal one. But your decision is influenced by defaults, especially when it involves losses, perceived or otherwise.

Defaults often represent the existing state or status quo. Change usually involves some kind of trade-offs.

Economists called this behavior loss aversion where:

It is thought that the pain of losing is psychologically about twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining.

Those who settled for the status quo

The pandemic has caused many to lose their income.

Self-employed are among the hardest hit. This is due largely to their inability to operate in the new normal.

Many small businesses, as many as 60 percent of them, won't be reopening.

The pandemic has also caused consumer behaviors to change. Keywords such as "curbside pickup" has seen an increase of 9,000 percent.

When markets change, going with the status quo will cause you to become irrelevant.

Competencies you could already have

Mohamed Buheji & Aisha Buheji outlined a set of competencies to be learned in the new normal.

So, if you are looking to enhance your capacity to cope in the new normal, here are these competencies:

  • Proactiveness: the capacity to be prepared for expected challenges
  • Preparedness: being always prepared to handle different sort of emergencies
  • Pulling-together: the capacity to process and exchange information with others in a given environment
  • Problem-solving: being able to find the most effective and efficient solutions to difficult or complex issues
  • Publishing and publicizing: share the knowledge acquired to help each other in the new normal phase.

Which of these five competencies do you already have?

Not a good time to settle for the status quo.

Go work on the rest.

Melvyn Tan

I write about my perspective of how things work in the post-pandemic world. I also share updates of my latest projects.