Blind Spots and Biases

Making better business decisions with CultureSmith

When people point to a lack of funding, poor marketing or a faulty product as the reason behind a business failure, they’re laying the blame on all the wrong reasons, because these are all symptoms, not the disease. “The disease is not knowing your own impact on your own business,” says Shane Wallace, CEO of CultureSmith Inc., a Calgary-based consulting firm that focuses on forging employee engagement at businesses with anywhere from 15 – 500 employees. Shane’s goal, is to help entrepreneurs run more successful businesses by gaining a better understanding of their own behavior.

When Shane assesses a business, “we talk about everything that isn’t working within their company. We then connect that to their behavioral profile and show them how they created all those issues,” he explains.

Shane will speak about behavioral profiles at Sustainability for Breakfast: Forging Business Culture, organized by REAP Business Association (Respect for the Earth and All People), Tuesday, December 5 at Hotel Arts. In his presentation, Shane will share how to forge a business culture that will attract and retain like-minded customers and employees who share a company’s values, so the company can grow its business.

“It’s about people getting out of their own way. What they will learn is that we all operate within cognitive biases, which are mental shortcuts,” explains Shane, a REAP member who teaches a codified system on how to remove the guesswork around human cognitive biases. “There are 189 known and measured cognitive biases. Every decision you make as a business owner is influenced by these biases. Because we are bombarded by so much information and our brains are processing so much to get us through our day, sometimes these shortcuts lead entrepreneurs to making faulty decisions within their business. These biases are influenced by who we surround ourselves with. If you build the right corporate culture, your biases will be impacted accordingly, and your business will prosper. It’s a universal truth. It’s why you have to care about who you surround yourself with.”

When people put these concepts into practice, they’ll know it’s working “when employee engagement ticks up. Because if you hire the right people and help them get out of their own way, they are going to be engaged,” Shane says.

As for entrepreneurs, “they’ll fall back in love with their business, and their life and business will connect,” says Shane, who has seen marriages saved and people find financial success as a result of applying these principles.

Shane’s presentation will be workshop style, with modules and activities. “Anybody who owns a business is going to benefit from it.” Everyone in attendance will learn their behavioral biases and emotional blind spots, and how those two things are potentially eroding their enterprise value.

The cost to attend Sustainability for Breakfast is $30 per person, and the full breakfast will include gluten-free and vegan options, coffee and tea. Calgary Dollars can be used for a limited number of spaces available at the door; you can reserve one of those spaces by posting a comment at




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