Unfair? Yes. There are plenty of great leaders who truly want their staff to speak up. However, even some of these may suffer from measurement blindness.
When it comes to numbers and decision making there are three positions people take.
These people believe measurement enhances decisions. They will ask for measurement and readily listen to the numbers being presented, they will look to see if there are any abnormalities and when satisfied, they will trust the numbers.
These are the people that like the numbers when it suits them and not so when they don’t. They will accept data that affirms their position, and they will reject data that goes against their conclusions.
These are the gut feel decision makers. The ones that follow the mantra that there are three types of lies: “Lies, damned lies and statistics”. They simply don’t believe what comes from a “black box”.
When nudging the CFO, presumably they are believers in measurement. When nudging other executives, it is important to understand if they are a believer, a swinger or a gambler.
For believers your mantra should be “If you can observe it, I can measure it, but I’ll closely consider the cost of measurement along the way.”
For swingers and gamblers, your mantra should be “I can give you some further insight to help you with this decision.” That is, don’t talk data and measurement, talk insights. The marketing insights teams worked that one out many years ago.
Stay safe and adapt – with better measurement!
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YOUR DECISIONS DEFINE YOU.
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Bryan Whitefield works with strategic leaders across all sectors to help organisations harness uncertainty – uncertainty is the strategic leader’s best friend. He is the author of DECIDE: How to Manage the Risk in Your Decision Making and Winning Conversations: How to turn red tape into blue ribbon. He is the designer of the Risk Culture: Build Your Tribe of Advocates Program for support functions and the Persuasive Adviser Program for internal advisers. Both can be booked individually or in-house. For more information about Bryan, please click here.