When more is stupid

People, particularly managers in corporations, always want more data.

I read this extract on a favourite blog of mine and it really struck home.

In his short story “Del rigor en la ciencia,” which consists of just a single paragraph, Jorge Luis Borges describes a special country. In this country, the science of cartography is so sophisticated that only the most detailed of maps will do— that is, a map with a scale of 1: 1, as large as the country itself. 

Their citizens soon realize that such a map does not provide any insight, since it merely duplicates what they already know. Borges’s map is the extreme case of the information bias, the delusion that more information guarantees better decisions.

It is a favourite tactic in big corporations to postpone decisions because ‘there is not enough information’. They then resort to ‘more research’ – which I have also written previously about as a flawed approach. People substitute planning for doing, but their planning processes are flawed.

The thing that is missing in all of this is THINKING.

Thinking has become discredited as the domain of the non-doers and we all know that unless someone does something, nothing gets done.

Thoughtful Action is the yin-yang of success in the world.

Thinking is about processing the data – not simply acquiring more data. But the default seems to be to employ as little thinking as possible.

Have Fun

Dennis

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