Below is a lesson from The New York Times on why our current model on social change isn’t working, as well as our key learnings.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.


2020 Taught Us How to Fix This

Our current model of social change isn’t working.

By David Brooks

This is the year that broke the truth. This is the year when millions of Americans — and not just your political opponents — seemed impervious to evidence, willing to believe the most outlandish things if it suited their biases, and eager to develop fervid animosities based on crude stereotypes.

Worse, this was the year that called into question the very processes by which our society supposedly makes progress.

So many of our hopes are based on the idea that the key to change is education. We can teach each other to be more informed and make better decisions. We can study social injustices and change our behavior to fight them.

But this was the year that showed that our models for how we change minds or change behavior are deeply flawed.

Continue reading here.


Key Learnings:

  • This was the year that showed that our models for how we change minds or change behavior are deeply flawed. 
  • It turns out that if you tell someone their facts are wrong, you don’t usually win them over; you just entrench false belief.
  • Most large corporations and other institutions have begun racial diversity programs to combat the bias and racism pervasive in organizational life, but firms that use such courses see no increase in managerial diversity.
  • A few reasons these programs generally don’t work as intended:
    1. “Short-term educational interventions in general do not change people.” This is as true for worker safety courses as it is for efforts to combat racism. 
    2. Some researchers argue that the training activates stereotypes in people’s minds rather than eliminates them.
    3. Training can make people complacent, thinking that because they went through the program, they’ve solved the problem.
    4. The mandatory training makes many white participants feel left out, angry and resentful, actually decreasing their support for workplace diversity
    5. People don’t like to be told what to think and may rebel if they feel that they’re being pressured to think a certain way.