Willful blindness in media and advertising
By Louis Eksteen
In her 2011 book Wilful Blindness, blogger, businesswoman and TED regular Margaret Heffernan argues convincingly that people often ignore the obvious for deep psychological reasons she calls willful blindness. People “deny truths that are too painful, too frightening to confront”. This ostrich-like head-in-the-sand behaviour can have psychological benefits, such as helping us cope, but in business it often leads to disaster.
Ignoring fundamental changes in one’s industry can be so seductive that you can become totally unaware of what’s really happening. I believe one of the reasons for a good holiday, or even a sabbatical, is too gain some perspective on things that may become “unseen” in the everyday hustle and bustle of working life.