Dismissing Evidence

It might seem easy to dismiss problems in any group as rabble-rousing or hyperbole.  What’s more telling is the dismissal or lack of focus on the problems rather than the acknowledgement.

On the other hand, acknowledging problems and pressing-on anyway might be the best way to show others in the group that the focus might be on problems they can’t see… that really might not be problems at all.

A person goes to the doctor with chest pain and a general sense of malaise.  The doctor tells them that they have lung cancer and maybe a few years to live with a small chance at another decade or two if they change their habits and address the fact that they have a condition.  What do they do?

Someone who sees (and trusts) the evidence, the statistics, and the interests of the people they’re asking will likely stop smoking, start taking their health seriously, and start advocating against the very things that hurt them in the first place.

Someone who inherently distrusts everything and is unable to see the truth probably won’t care.  Chain-smoking, binge-drinking, obscene fast-food intake; speeding it up is the only thing that makes sense when outside evidence or results directly contravene the focus.

The same type of scenario plays itself out every day in organizations where legitimate information, discussion, debate, and dissent are either muzzled or overridden by profit or prestige (I would argue that it’s actually the sin of pride, but that’s a bit too much religion at work).

Technology has already had its soul rent asunder twice before; if organizations and leaders within those organizations fail to understand and internalize the lessons of the previous boom-bust cycles of the DotBomb era, I would think that in this age of on-demand contracting and instant entrepreneurship would give them pause.

What if I decide to take in all available evidence, have a transparent discussion, and get a game plan together, and actually become accountable for the decisions being made?”

What if I allow myself to invest my trust and faith in the people that I’ve chosen to hire and work with and give them the necessary space to bring their creative energy to-bear on the issues at hand?”

What if I choose to be a little more vulnerable with short-term investment of time or capital in something that might not work, but might make all of our lives better in the long-run?”

“What if”, indeed.  This is where I personally see a lot of organizations fall apart.  Too many what-ifs, too much uncertainty.  The need to profit from every keystroke; every moment spent reading text, every bit, byte, bloop, bleep, and click.  When that need overrides the desire of why the business became a business in the first place, that’s when the magic fades.  That’s when decision-making turns into decisions about margins and when human investment (emotional, physical, and spiritual capital) becomes tertiary.

That’s when people make choices on their own and sometimes even choose to leave.

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