I like this quote because it touches on a couple of other ideas I have read before. One author I like (Joiner) states that all leaders need to treat decisions as experiments. Lean challenges HiPPOs (Highest Paid Persons Opinion) to use data in decision making instead of through assertiveness or by being charismatic. The quote below is a good reminder to always experiment with theories to be able to show data if the theory is true or not. It also helps me really notice when opinions are made verses asking for objective data to support.
“In a world without data, opinion prevails…Most managerial dictums are hypotheses. A hypothesis by nature is useless unless proven by data…Asserting an opinion as a fact is a lot easier. Pretending that our assuredness reflects objective truth is certainly convenient …we need to test our beliefs against data…Managers must see themselves as experimenters who lead learning, not dictators who impose control.” – Peter Scholtes “The Leader’s Handbook pages 29,33
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One response to “Test Beliefs Against Data”
It takes a humble person that knows their own weaknesses to actually assume and act in a way that supports testing ideas and suggestions, especially when they are yours. Unfortunately in today’s business world those people are in short supply amongst the highest paid executives, because for some reason honesty and humility are seen as weaknesses, by Wall Street.