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We reward the right answer. Getting the right answer leads to correct decisions and actions. Being accurate and correct is a requirement of success. But sometimes our focus on getting the right answer blocks our discovering the wrong one. Sometimes, these wrong answers reveal weaknesses in our companies before they manifest as lost sales or unhappy customers.
Often, the people we work with are afraid to report information that doesn’t meet expectations. No one wants to be seen as a naysayer or as working against the team. People will bury negative information in details, ignore it or, worst of all, hide it. Yet, it is the information that we don’t expect that many times tell us what we really need to know.
Information designer Edward Tufte famously made the case that the PowerPoint presentations used to discuss the shuttle Columbia foam strike were actually the primary cause of the destruction of the craft on re-entry. Statements minimizing the risk appeared at the top of slides in bigger fonts, with the information, supported by many e-mails and conversations about the danger of returning with tile damage, appearing in smaller fonts at the bottom of slides. The unpleasant facts hid in plain sight and seven lives and a billion dollars were lost. To be clear, the PowerPoint slides only provide evidence of a culture that avoided unexpected or unwanted information.
Understanding that all data, including what you didn’t expect to find, is equal is one of the main lessons from the Columbia shuttle disaster.
Getting positive mentions of your business, products, people and events in the publications that your ideal clients consume is an essential part of what I call the lead generation trio, advertising and referrals being the other members.
So NFL.com asked the team what’s behind Kansas City’s turnaround. The team credited … cornhole.
“Credit unions are an alternative source for the kind of services a bank provides,” said Professor Lawrence White of New York’s Stern School of Business.”I’m hoping they would see the un-banked as part of their mission. That would be the most socially worthwhile thing they could do.”
This is kind of like the gas station down the street offering you cheaper gas and then hopping in your car at night to drive it around the beltway a few times to keep your tank low.
Charlotte boasts a superstar protest-magnet of its own – Bank of America — that could conceivably attract more activists than the convention attracts delegates.