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How often in business are we misled into seeing connections where none exist
One Direction to split up…stock markets plunge…..
Just glancing at the news headlines it can be easy to create juxtapositions where none exist; to imply cause and effect simply because of the way in which the eye scans the page. Within a few seconds reasoning is restored as the headlines resolve themselves into two completely separate entities, both with vast different underlying stories.
But how often in business are we misled into seeing connections where none exist or, just as bad, failing to see connections which we really ought to pick up on? ‘I assumed’ may be one of the most destructive phrases in business. When sales fall, when customer dissatisfaction increases, when employees start leaving in droves, it can be all too easy to point the finger of blame at an easy target. But unless time and effort is taken to really understand the underlying cause then there’s a strong chance that any fix, quick or otherwise, will be completely wide of target and may in fact make matters worse.
When things go wrong, when others are pushing for answers, it is all too easy to fall back on the fight or flight response; either to deflect blame by attacking others or to put leadership on hold while you demand reams of meaningless statistics. But true leadership comes from a deep belief in the importance of finding the truth, of understanding what the real underlying causes are and acting appropriately. Whether or not the headlines appear to be linked, without true insight you will never know.