Surprise, surprise there really is a value in the experience and skills that leaders can bring to the table; and they should not have to think ‘big data or no data’!

Our world is increasingly interconnected; seemingly unrelated developments now rapidly and profoundly affect each other. Meddling with interest rates can rapidly affect house prices that drive local school funding, which in turn can impact inequality not only of income and wealth but also of opportunity. 

Uncertainty and fuzziness plague our existence, which demands daily decisions on everything from the painfully simple to the grossly complex. And in a world in which technology is progressing at breakneck speed, the advantages of a narrow focus and formulaic solutions are rapidly waning.

For those seeking a disciplined approach to the ways of comprehending organisations, the options are explained in a more lengthy article (yes, this is a health warning for those of limited attention spans!) that utilises a clock face to consider the trade-offs. For the 93% (apparently) that do not take up the invitation, the dimensions discussed here are ‘simple and accurate’ – the expert view in narrow slices, or ‘general and simple’ – the generalist view across wider swathes of activity.  

Nailing my colours to the [his] mast I am of the same persuasion as Harvard academic Vikram Mansharamani (link to article below). If leaders have to wait until they have all the data for the myriad of issues they face, they would never make any timely decisions.  In the majority of situations leaders want systems that can do the heavy lifting across large complex environments, narrowing focus to a handful of really important issues – quickly and with minimum disruption so that they, as the real domain experts, can take the key decisions. This means creating plausible (general and simple) lines of enquiry, unencumbered by data overload.


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