Assume Nothing: A Guide to Human Capital Hypothesis Testing | Deloitte Insights2Action

People Analytics

As the nature of work and the workplace continues to undergo unprecedented change, leaders face the challenge of evaluating and making numerous decisions that impact their workforce. These decisions encompass a wide range of topics, such as establishing guidelines and policies for remote work and determining the role of AI in the workplace. However, as highlighted in this article, decision-makers can often be swayed by confirmation bias—a cognitive tendency where people seek evidence that aligns with their pre-existing beliefs. As a result, confirmation bias, to which we are all susceptible, detracts from effective decision-making. This article focuses on the importance of hypothesis testing in human capital decision-making. Several key points are emphasized, including “Thinking Like a Researcher,” encouraging decision-makers to challenge their existing beliefs, approach their roles with humility and empathy, and remain open to learning from new data and information to refine their decisions. Additionally, the article stresses the importance of “Exploring Everything, Assuming Nothing,” highlighting the need to withhold assumptions until sufficient evidence is available. While it is difficult to overcome confirmation bias completely, by applying this approach to workplace decisions, leaders can gather factual data to test assumptions, mitigate biases, and improve the quality of their decisions that ultimately impact their entire workforce. With this as the backdrop, here is a new article by Stanford Professor, Nick Bloom titled Does Working from Home Damage Productivity? Just Look at The Data.