Twenty or so years ago I stood in the office bullpen and listened to one of the marketing guys stress the importance of only relying upon data for decision making.
“It is the only unbiased, effective and efficient way to make smart decisions.”
He let the words sit for a moment and then asked if anyone disagreed. Some twenty-something year old man shook his head and said he did.
“You can’t always depend on the data to be correct. Sometimes it is wrong because you used the wrong numbers or looked at the wrong factors. Sometimes you have to go with your gut and the data.”
The marketing guy shook his head and told that twenty-something year-old man he was wrong and asked him if he could prove his theory using any reliable data.
“Einstein didn’t rely solely upon numbers. He liked music and he talked about all sorts of stuff that wasn’t always numbers based.”
The marketing guy shook his head again and asked for something more specific and the twenty-something year-old man shared a couple of quotes like these:
The marketing guy shook his head again and announced, “Einstein is dead and we’ll do things my way.”
The twenty-something year-old man failed to whisper “you’re wrong” which led to a private meeting between him and Joe Marketing.
It wasn’t the prettiest of meetings because that twenty-something year-old man was me and I was young enough to believe that it was better to hold firm on that point than to concede a point to a higher ranking staff person.
Things would be different if it happened today, I would manage that moment more carefully than I did.
Because sometimes the most important skill you have in an office is the ability to get along with others.
The Intersection Between Science & Your Gut
Aside from that, nothing has changed my mind. I still see an intersection between using science and going with your gut.
There is a point, place and time for both and determining when and where is more art than science.
I suppose the election and all of the acrimony around it has prompted this line of thinking.
Got me wondering about the best way to make choices for new leadership and questioning everything our candidates say.
Doesn’t mean I didn’t do so before, but I am far more cynical about some of this than I ever was.
Not to mention the influence of the online acrimony that seems to be getting worse.
There is more shouting at each other and more insistence that only one side can be right than there once was or so it seems to me.
My fervent hope is that whomever is elected exceeds our expectations and that we all benefit from it.
An Unrelated Comment
I have been thinking a bit about how to identify the best posts here so that they can be highlighted and shown off for new readers to see.
That is a hard question to answer but a necessary evil because if you want to market yourself you have to work at it.
So the question is do we show off the most popular based upon traffic, comments or some other metric.
I haven’t decided yet, but I am thinking about it.
In the interim here are 14 posts you may or may not have read yet. If they are new to you go ahead and give them a gander.
- Change Happens Overnight
- How To Never Make A Bad Choice
- This Too Shall Pass
- Mostly Dead Is Still Partly Alive
- Some People Love You & Some Facebook You
- Can A Root Canal Make You Cry?
- Secret Worlds & The Things We See In Them
- The Secret Worlds We Live In
- The Day I Shot An Elephant
- Have You Seen Where Fire Meets Water
- What Happens When People Notice You?
- Lessons Learned From Moving
- Would You Move To Cleveland?
- What’s Dead Can Never Die