Why, after every major accident and blunder, do we look back and ask, how could we have been so blind? Why do some people see what others don’t? And how can we change? Drawing on studies by psychologists and neuroscientists, and from interviews with business leaders, whistle blowers and white collar criminals, distinguished businesswoman and writer Margaret Heffernan examines the phenomenon of wilful blindness, exploring the reasons that individuals and groups are blind to impending personal tragedies, corporate collapses, engineering failures – even crimes against humanity.
We turn a blind eye in order to feel safe, to avoid conflict, to reduce anxiety and to protect prestige. It makes us feel good at first, with consequences we don’t see. But greater understanding leads to solutions, and Heffernan shows how – by challenging our biases, encouraging debate, discouraging conformity, and not backing away from difficult or complicated problems – we can be more mindful of what’s going on around us and be proactive instead of reactive.
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