The basic explanation of this trap is that we are biased towards maintaining the current situation, even when better alternatives exist.
Illustration: We have a team production meeting every morning in our office. There was a time that everyone on our staff was considered a production worker or was directly related to the production process. As the team grew, the conference room was getting more and more crowded, and truthfully there were some team members attending that meeting that just didn’t need to be there for efficiency’s sake. In time, this was brought to our attention and we agreed and now we’ve streamlined how those meetings are run and who needs to be in attendance. We were just doing what we had always done. The status quo was that everyone needed to be in that morning meeting.
The trick with the status quo, as a decision-making trap, is that you might not even realize that you are making a decision.
The best way to avoid this is to get regular feedback from your team. Invite them to speak into your processes and operations and I’ll bet there is a good chance that you’ll be encouraged and challenged by some of the things they bring to light.