Don't be a binary thinker

16 Jan 2020 11:55 PM | John Heap (Administrator)

Politicians are binary creatures.


They view important issuers as black and white,.  They are right and everyone else is wrong.  They rarely listen to conflicting views because they KNOW those holding contrary views cannot be right.


Some business leaders act in a similar way.  They surround themselves with people of similar views or people who are prepared to espouse similar views (‘Yesmen’).  They won’t even listen to people who will be affected by their decisions or actions.


Both sets of individuals are unlikely to be right all of the time and doomed to failure (in the longer term) as their mistakes come home to roost.


Failing to listen is a major crime. If you don’t listen to your customers, your employees, your suppliers and other stakeholders you will not find out what is, or might be, going wrong in your business and what opportunities for improvement there are.


Diversity of opinion is healthy and constructive.  Of course leaders sometimes have to listen but not necessarily change their decisions or actions.  But failing to listen to what people have to say means they might miss important caveats, consequences or influencing factors.


Making unpopular but informed decisions can be the right thing to do.  Making unpopular and uninformed decisions is crazy.  


It stifles engagement, innovation, contribution and productivity.



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