In some leadership groups, opinions appear to be more important than facts. I’ve seen senior management groups where an executive’s in-depth knowledge and experience is over-ruled by opinions from other executives — opinions that aren’t based on fact, evidence or experience — just pure opinion.
Yes, there is always a need for new, fresh and different input, but that doesn’t mean that opinion and conjecture should take precedence over knowledge. In some ways, it reminds me of dysfunction in today’s press — to much opinion, too much slant, much less professional journalism. The result is that you reaslly don’t know what to believe.
When secretary of state Colin Powell took office, he gathered a large group of state department staffers together. He said that he wanted to hear what they think, and what they know. And he asked them to make sure he knew the difference.
Strategy execution requires consistently good decision making. If you don’t know the difference between what people think and what they know, it can lead to very poor decisions.