Jeffrey Saltzman's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘behavior change

The Problem with Experts

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Say you had a group of 100 people who put themselves forth as experts in estimating the number of gumballs in jars. Divide that group of 100 into 2 groups of 50, and asked each person within the two groups to estimate the number of gumballs in a jar. With one group of 50 treat their estimates individually, 50 individual estimates of how many gumballs are in the jar. With the second group take the 50 estimates and average them together, so you have only 1 estimate. All together you now have 51 estimates of the number of gumballs. Out of these 51 estimates, which will be closer to the actual number of gumballs, the 1 averaged estimate or one of the 50 individual estimates? The answer is that most often one of the 50 individual estimates will be closest and the average estimate will often consistently be the second, third or fourth best estimate. Close but no cigar.  So now we look at the person who made the best individual estimate and crown that person “the” expert in gumball estimation. If we now run this experiment over and over, what you would find is that you are crowning a different “expert” each and every time. So there is no real expert, only an element of chance that causes one of the 50 to be crowned as a gumball estimation expert in that round of the experiment.

Estimating the number of gumballs in a jar is a complex problem. If you approached it methodically you would have to estimate the total volume of the jar and the total volume of each gumball. You would have to take into consideration the way the gumballs are placed in the jar. Are they tightly packed to the brim? Or is there airspace in the jar because of how they are sitting? If they are slightly irregularly shaped that will change the number of gumballs that can fit vs. if they are perfectly round. Estimating these kinds of variables visually, with our eyes, is not something humans are particularly suited for. Now we are smart enough that we can devise means that can determine precisely the number of gumballs in the jar, but visual inspection with our eyes, often from a distance, is not the way to go. Yet because of our inherent biases as humans (e.g. 95% of us are certain they are in the top 50% of drivers, 25% of us are certain they are in the top 1% in terms of leadership skill, and of course at Lake Woebegone all the children are above average), there are those among us who are pretty sure they can estimate the number of gumballs in the jars using that visual inspection approach.

Now, back to our one-time gumball estimation expert. What we tend to do is take the winner of one of our estimation rounds and put that person on TV as a talking head and ask that person their view points on various gumball estimation problems. Will the economy go up or down? Will Iran agree to a negotiated nuclear settlement? Which stocks should I pick to make the most money next year or will the bond market lose or make money? What will happen to inflation? Does that recent scandal eliminate any chance of electoral victory? What is the underlying cause of social unrest? What causes a person join a protest or engage in civil disobedience? We will be greeted as liberators or as oppressors when we march into Baghdad?

The underlying problem with those who answer these kind of questions, is that they attempt to identify a single or a small handful of underlying causes, (and assign them weights) based on their expertise, to complex problems. They may be using various assessments or may often be using measurement instruments, (remember the visual inspection for gumballs) that are simply not up to the task. And because of human limitations, they get past these short-comings by using rules-of-thumb or heuristics to take a question, that has a multitude of complex issues and boil it down to a simple answer. Answers that are more likely to be wrong than right.

For instance, the number of variables of what causes a Baltimore to erupt are immense and they are related to each other in extremely complex ways. The variables that affect human behavior are intricate and defy simple explanation. It is beyond rocket science. That is not to say that we should not work to understand and remedy issues. But the errand to put simple labels on socially complex issues is a fool’s errand, can result in gross mischaracterization and is easily debunked by other “experts” those who can point to other simple labels that they develop.

Now there are true experts out there. I will be the first one to run to a doctor or emergency room if I break a leg or have a heart attack. I will use a civil engineer to design and a qualified construction company to build my new bridge. I listen to climatologists about what is happening to our planet and attempt action. I listen to food experts when, based on the scientific method, it is known that GMOs have no harmful effects (every piece of food you eat has already been genetically modified from its original state). And I will have my children vaccinated against all the harmful diseases that used to be the scourge of our society.

There are huge differences between those using the scientific method to determine cause and effect, to improve the lives of people everywhere on this planet and so-called “gumball experts”. But part of the reason we have some of the issues we face as a society is because we don’t always distinguish between the two.

© 2015 by Jeffrey M. Saltzman. All rights reserved.

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

May 3, 2015 at 7:56 am

Leadership in the time of Ebola

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Many people react to the suffering that Ebola has wrought on West Africa with a great deal of compassion. Towards one end of a continuum you see some people who are skilled enough and brave enough to travel to those locations where the disease is rampant to lend assistance. Towards the other end of the continuum you see some people calling for isolation of those locations where the disease is prevalent by imposing travel bans or other isolation methods.

At the risk of gross oversimplification you could state that at both of the more extreme ends of this same continuum exists pathology. Pathology on the compassionate end of the continuum could be defined as people reaching out to help, who in their desire to lend assistance somehow view themselves as immune, and not taking personal precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. At the other extreme end of the continuum you have people who are suggesting burning down the homes of the people who have been in contact with disease carriers, or people who feel that West Africa should be left to their own devices to deal with the problem.

This continuum of attitudes towards the Ebola virus and towards those who have been exposed to the disease is not a simple haves vs. have-nots, or educated vs. uneducated kind of split for you can find people at all points of the continuum existing in all of our societies, regardless of their prosperity or educational level.  There is something else going on, something based on individual personality types or cultural imperatives that drives people’s reaction to the situation.  What causes some to react with compassion, reaching out to do what they can, exhibiting a strong desire to help while others react with a circle the wagons or a “survivalist”, every person for themselves mentality? Where do most of us fall on this continuum and what kind of leadership can be effective in dealing with the problem?

While not a perfect fit, the situation reminds me of the work done by Jonathan Haidt and others on what is called the Omnivore’s dilemma.  An omnivore has certain advantages. Not being a picky eater, an omnivore can wander away from its traditional food source and expect that it will find some thing or other to eat when it gets to wherever it is going. When an omnivore, however, really wanders into unexplored territory and comes across completely foreign food, it faces a dilemma. The omnivore’s dilemma is a term first used by Paul Rozin and essentially states that omnivores as they move around must find new foods and new food sources, but at the same time must be wary of them until proven safe. Is this new food something that it can safely eat or is it a food, like certain wild mushrooms, that should be avoided at all costs? How can it know?

Jonathan Haidt describes omnivores as having two competing drives or motives. Neophilia is an attraction to new things, and neophobia is a fear of new things. And it has been shown than in the omnivores we call humans, neophilia and neophobia are not binary conditions but rather exist along a spectrum with each term anchoring one end of a “neo” scale. Most people will fall into the “fat” part of the distribution, meaning that we all have a degree of both neophilia and neophobia present in our personalities and which way we lean, to be neophilic or phobic will be triggered by the situation we face.

People who score higher on neophilia are more open to new experiences, including meeting new people and considering new ideas. Neophilic people would be more likely to reach out in times of crisis for others and to lend a helping hand.

Neophobic people, on the other hand, do not prefer new experiences but do prefer tradition, guarding borders and boundaries either physical or social. Neophobes are the “circle-the-wagons” set, they would be positive about building physical boundaries as well as legal ones to prevent outsiders from getting “in”.  They are fearful of the unknowns represented by a disease like Ebola and want to just avoid it, going back to the way things were. They are looking to chart a course that takes them back into their comfort zone, into familiar territory.

Now an omnivore’s survival as it wanders into new territory, much as the Vikings or Columbus did, depends on having evolved a disgust reaction to foods or environmental conditions that were certain to harbor pathogens or which could prove deadly. Omnivore flexibility, and any natural immunity to Ebola, only goes so far. For instance, you would be hard pressed to find an omnivore that would eat rotting meat, as only very specialized types of animals, such as vultures, or doctors/nurses in hazmat suits in the case of Ebola, can manage that without getting sick.

Disgust as it turns out is also not binary but exists on a continuum along with neophobia and neophilia. And you guessed it, neophobics, people who are more fearful of new experiences preferring tradition; and those who feel a need to closely guard social or physical borders, have a more readily triggered disgust mechanism. They look toward new situations, perhaps dangerous ones, have their strong disgust mechanisms triggered and their first reaction is to walk away.

Organizations face the omnivore’s dilemma continually. Do they hire leaders from the outside, exposing themselves to potentially new ideas, new ways of doing business, a willingness to try some “new food”, such as the development of new products or geographic expansion, which unfortunately might prove poisonous, or alternatively might lead them to previously unattainable success? Or do they promote from within, utilizing those who have risen from the ranks, have found success in the organization’s current methods and processes, and are deeply imbued with the organization’s existing culture and ways of doing things?

That is a surefire method of guarding one’s social and physical boundaries, which might lead to either the continuation of a success story or alternatively to obsolescence as the organization is stagnant and unchanging as environmental conditions change. If the leader of the organization is neophobic or neophillic will it affect which path they choose? In the time of Ebola would we be better off with a leader who is open to dealing with new, unforeseen, unexpected situations, who can deal with ambiguity, or would we be better off with a leader who wants little or nothing to do with the ambiguity of a highly contagious (if you come into contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids) disease?

The omnivore organization roughly parallels the decisions that must be made in an ambidextrous organization. An ambidextrous organization is one that can maximize its current performance while at the same time build future potential. That is a balance that must be struck but is at the same time somewhat of a conflict or challenge. When you are building future potential, you are by definition not maximizing current performance, and if all you are doing is maximizing current performance, you are throwing away your future. In the time of Ebola maximizing current performance is doing those things that helps as many infected people survive and stops the spread of the disease. Future performance deals with preventing a reoccurrence, and would include steps such as developing vaccines or the proper training of emergency personnel and putting into place an infrastructure that can deal with an outbreak.

Leaders of organizations (e.g. governments) that are successfully ambidextrous relentlessly talk about the need to maximize current performance and to build future capacity. Their management teams below them tend to have differing groups focused on either the current performance or building potential, but not both at the same time. It is at the top that all points of view should be listened to, considered and the balance must be struck, by leaders that are practiced at being omnivorously ambidextrous.

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

October 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Legislating Morality

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Fifty years ago, in 1964, the US Civil Rights Act came into being, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The purpose of the law was to make discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, and gender illegal. Other protected classes were added over time, such as age in 1967. Beyond simply making discrimination illegal the legislation was attempting a feat of social engineering, changing behavior. And while one could argue that tremendous strides have been made, make no mistake about it, there is still plenty of discrimination going on today.

But questions arise for those of us who work in the space of behaviors and attitudes. Can attitudes and opinions, can thought patterns and morality be created by legislation?  Does legislation and prosecution for violations of that legislation create morality or only an illusion of morality? And if people are behaving according to moral principles, but in their hearts feel differently, do we care?

While we could argue endlessly whose standards of morality, or which cultures and norms we will accept as “moral”, putting all that aside for a moment, the answer from a social engineering perspective is very clearly that legislation can change behaviors and over time those behavior changes will result in attitudinal shifts. In other words legislation does have the power to affect behaviors, and partly though the power of cognitive dissonance, partly through the power of modeling others in the community, over time thought patterns can be altered. Perhaps not for everyone, and not in every instance, but changing behaviors can lead to attitudinal shifts in a large population.

The attempt to legislate behavior is nothing new, as there were many ancient legal codes aimed at instructing people how to live their lives in an attempt to instill order in society. One well known early attempt at legislating morality occurred under the Babylonian ruler Hammurabi about 3800 years ago. The Code of Hammurabi consisted of 282 laws by which people were to live their lives. Hammurabi’s code was the source of the saying “an eye for an eye”. (“If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out.”) And it is likely the earliest instance of medical reimbursement legislation. (“If a physician make a large incision with an operating knife and cure it, or if he open a tumor (over the eye) with an operating knife, and saves the eye, he shall receive ten shekels in money”). But medical malpractice carried stiff penalties under Hammurabi. (“If a physician make a large incision with the operating knife, and kill him, or open a tumor with the operating knife, and cut out the eye, his hands shall be cut off”).

An even older set of laws, originating about 300 years before Hammurabi, was created by the king of Ur and called the code of Ur-Nammu. Some of those very ancient laws we would recognize today (“If a man commits a murder, that man must be killed”). And some would be somewhat foreign to us today (“If a man is accused of sorcery he must undergo ordeal by water; if he is proven innocent, his accuser must pay 3 shekels”).

And almost 1000 years later on Moses brought down a set of laws from Mt. Sinai which also was aimed at describing to people how they were expected to behave and live their lives, a moral code (e.g. “You shall not murder”).

While there were certainly differences among these legal codes, there were also some very interesting similarities. For instance look across these 3 sets of moral codes, originating thousands of years apart regarding what they have to say about bearing false witness.

  • Ur-Nammu (4100 years ago) – “If a man appeared as a witness, and was shown to be a perjurer, he must pay fifteen shekels of silver.”
  • Hammurabi (3800 years ago) – “If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death.”
  • Moses (approx. 3000 years ago) – “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
  • And today in the USA (18 U.S. Code § 1621) perjury is still a crime – “…is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”

Apparently bearing false witness has been an on-going problem since the dawn of civilization or there would have been no need to call it out specifically in each of these moral codes.

More recently the case for legislating morality can be seen with the advent of laws in favor of marriage equality and other equal benefits for the LGBTQ community. In this particular case it seems that the attitudes of the population in general were ahead, and perhaps still are ahead of those in various legislative bodies in the USA. There are of course segments of the population who vehemently oppose equal rights, just as there were those who supported Jim Crow laws in the south. What will likely happen to that group? As LGBTQ rights become more widespread, and people/states are held accountable for violation of those rights, the act of behaving in a fashion supportive of those rights will be seen as:

  • normal – people will want to be similar, including in attitudes) to the vast majority of people they are surrounded by (Paraphrasing Tversky & Kahneman 1974, “People will maintain a belief in a position when surround by a community of like-minded believers”).

And again, potentially not everyone’s beliefs will positively shift in every instance (even among those suffering from cognitive dissonance), but across the larger population continuing shifts in attitudes could be measured.

As an aside, in the world of survey research, once we have reached a 51% response rate, in order to drive additional responses, we use this notion to our advantage, by sending out reminders along the lines of, “the majority of people have completed the survey, don’t miss this opportunity to voice your thoughts”). It works.

Today the US military is struggling with the issue of sexual harassment in its ranks. The military code (e.g. article 93 – regarding cruelty and maltreatment) has various statutes in place by which personnel can face court martial trails for sexual harassment offenses. But the rules have been rarely enforced with harsh measures, especially for those with higher rank. Can the military legislate attitudinal shifts among service members? Can they eliminate sexual harassment by simply telling people “don’t do it”? That is a necessary step. And certainly enforcement must be more uniform across the military and the legislation must be seen as having some teeth. But the military must also build standards of behavior that become “normal” and which don’t include sexual harassment behaviors. Once the behaviors are in place attitudes can shift. If all you do is work on attitudes but the old behavioral standards are still there, the attitudes shifts will not “take”.

Legislating morality is possible, but over the long term true shifts in attitudes can only happen if they are supported by the corresponding behaviors.

© 2014 by Jeffrey M. Saltzman. All rights reserved.

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Direct Questions, Actions, Outcomes, Tipping Points and Gun Control

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Here is a little secret about employee surveys, if you want to know about something it is often best to directly ask about it. Surprised? It may seem like common sense when someone says it, yet there is a lot of obfuscation out there, a lot of confusion, some purposeful, some simply based on a lack of knowledge. People tend to be honest when answering survey questions and direct questions with direct answers often give you the information you need to take corrective action. The best way, for instance, to determine if your employees are thinking about leaving is to ask them if they are thinking about leaving, or if you want, how long they plan on staying. How do I know that people tend to answer those pretty sensitive questions honestly? There were a number of times where that question was asked and then a year or two later we went back to find out if those who said they were leaving left, or those who indicated they were staying were still there. By and large both were true. People tend to answer honestly and they tend to act on what they say they are going to act on.

On 360 surveys, those are surveys where you ask a manager to rate themselves, for their boss, subordinates and peers to rate them as well, you get the best data when you ask about observable behavioral things. Don’t ask about “emphasis”, “spirit”, or “caring”, which are things that people may have to surmise from behavior, ask about the behavior you want the person exhibiting directly. If you want to know whether a boss cares about their employees, define what caring means in your organization, in terms of what behaviors a boss should be doing or not doing and ask about those behaviors directly. It works. And then when you  need someone to change, it is a lot easier to talk about which behaviors they need to start doing and which ones they need to stop then to tell them they need to show more “spirit” or be more “globally focused”, which can simply leave them floundering.

It feels like you can’t pick up a newspaper, turn on the TV or look at the internet recently and not read about people dying due to gun violence. The Newtown school massacre was devastating, hitting close to home and seeing six and seven year-old children killed certainly means to me that something significant has to change. The status quo is not acceptable. Six and seven year-old children have every right to expect to come home from school and we need to make sure that we do what it takes to make that happen. There are going to be competing viewpoints of what that means, and what actions we can, should or are we willing to take to make that happen.

In the spirit of evidence-based decision-making and direct actions and outcomes, I looked at how each state was rated by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence on strictness of gun laws. I wanted to know if stricter gun laws have an effect on deaths in that state due to firearms. The states which had the toughest gun laws include: California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Michigan. The states with the most lax gun laws include: South Dakota, Arizona, Mississippi, Vermont, Louisiana, Montana, Wyoming, Kentucky, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

So now I wanted to know which states had the most number of deaths due to firearms and which the fewest and how that compared to the strictness of the gun laws. Of the ten states with the most deaths due to firearms 90% were given an “F” grade on their gun control laws. One was given a “D” grade. Of the states with the fewest deaths from gun violence 60% were given a grade of “A” or “B”, 30% got a “C” grade, and one, Vermont got an “F” grade. Vermont is an anomaly; it has poorly rated gun laws, but relatively few gun related deaths. The rest fall into line, those states with stricter gun laws have fewer gun deaths. Said another way, seven of the ten states with the strictest gun laws also make the list of the states with the lowest death rates due to gun violence. Direct action, direct outcome.

Out of curiosity, I went a little further. I visited the US Census Statistical Abstract and looked up a couple of facts about the states with the strictest and most lenient gun laws. By no means was this a thorough analysis, but I wanted to look anyway.  As a measure of educational attainment, I looked at the percent of people within the state with a degree beyond a college bachelor’s, could be a graduate (e.g. Masters, Ph. D)  or professional degree (e.g. dentist, doctor) of some sort. Of the ten states with the most gun deaths, 8% of their populations, on average, have a degree beyond a college diploma. Of the states with the fewest gun deaths, 12% have a degree beyond a college diploma. So there is a 4% difference in graduate degree attainment between the states with the most and those with the least deaths due to gun violence. Does 4% represent a tipping point? Does a little education go a long way towards reducing gun violence? In Vermont, our anomaly, 13% of the population have degrees beyond college, and they are squarely in the fewest gun deaths states, in spite of their “F” rating on gun laws.

You could argue that having a more educated population is not the primary cause of lower gun deaths and without additional analysis I would be hard pressed to counter that. But education certainly can be considered a surrogate measure of other outcomes as well. For instance, economic success is closely linked to education. On average people with a bachelor’s degree, according to the US Census, have a 39% likelihood of earning $100,000 or more per year.  For people with a degree beyond a bachelor’s that number rises to 58%. For those with less than a bachelor degree the percent who earn at least $100,000 per year drops rapidly to the low single digits, depending on educational level achieved.

In other words, educational attainment is very strongly linked to economic success and in states with higher educational attainment there tends to be both stricter gun laws and fewer deaths due to gun violence.

A chicken or egg question which comes up fairly often about culture change is whether you first try to change attitudes about a topic, or first try to change behaviors with respect to that topic in order to change the culture for the long-term. While you want to work on both, much success has been achieved by making behavioral changes first, and then having the resultant attitudinal changes follow. The behaviors, what people do day-to-day, reinforce and help create the attitudes which create the culture. But if you still have the old behaviors in place they constantly push you back towards the old attitudes and culture. This has been true on topics as diverse as equal rights in society, quality control procedures in manufacturing, seat belts use in automobiles, customer service orientation and I believe will be true for getting control of the gun violence now sweeping our society.

© 2012 by Jeffrey M. Saltzman. All rights reserved.

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Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

December 25, 2012 at 10:21 am

No Turn on Red

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Speed Limit 30 MPH, my daughter instructed me from her booster seat in the back as I maneuvered down the road at a speed slightly higher than that. I slowed the car down. Her sense of right and wrong, sometimes somewhat misplaced, is very strong. Once when I had to pick my wife up at the train station at about 9:00 pm or so, I pulled into a deserted parking lot and parked next to the stairs from which she would descend and proceeded to wait for the train and her to put in an appearance. My young daughter pointed to a blue sign in front of the car with a wheel chair on it and asked me what it meant. I told her that it meant that the space was reserved for handicapped people. She told me to move the car. I told her we were the only car in a lot that could hold several hundred cars, which had about a half-dozen other handicapped spots, all empty, and if someone pulled in looking for a handicapped spot I would move. My daughter, who was 6 or 7 at the time, gave me the eye. I moved the car. Now that she is a pre-teen instead of the “eye”, I get the “rolling eyes”, usually followed by an “oooh…dad.”

Signs, messages, warnings, suggestions, advance notices, advice, rules, regulations, commandments, moral codes, prohibitions, commentary, talking heads, pundits, product labels, warning labels, calories counts, advisories, report cards, performance appraisals, performance management systems, traffic tickets, parking tickets, parables, all of these things have something in common. While some document current behavior or aim to punish or reward current behavior, to inform or increase your safety and perhaps extend your life, all of these things also aim to influence our future behavior.

We are surrounded by scads of information and processes that are squarely aimed at influencing our future behavior. A speeding ticket for instance is not only punishment for going too fast (or at least faster than the rules say you should), but it is also trying to send the message that the behavior of speeding should not be repeated. The point system, whereby if too many violation points accumulate on your license leads to suspension of the license, simply reinforces the behavior change aspects of the process. Warning labels on some products are there to inform and attempt to influence – use this product at your own risk, as are performance appraisals which attempt (most rather poorly) to document current performance and to influence future performance – sort of like attaching a warning label to a person’s forehead. Warning: this person’s current performance is sub-par; please keep clear so as not to be unduly influenced yourself.  

What if all this information which bombards us and attempts to influence our behavior was to suddenly disappear? Would we be floundering in a sea of confusion, not knowing how to behave? Would civilization, as we know it, collapse? What if every stop sign, every speed limit sign, every prohibition, every code of conduct, every warning label on every product you purchased, every pundit who interprets events for us were to disappear. Would we be better off or worse off? Would we be walking around in a stupor wondering which actions we should be taking? Would we have no sense of direction, not being sure of what to eat or how to interact with others? Or are we more capable than the way we have developed as a society gives us credit for?

When someone moves from one country or culture to another, how much of the assimilation process, and the success or failure of that assimilation, is due to successfully understanding and knowing how to behave regarding all of the messages that bombard you in everyday life? What if I had no idea that the guy wearing the orange vest and standing in my lane waving the red flag was telling me to stop so that cars could make it safely through a construction zone? What if, based on my experiences, that particular set of symbolic indictors all pointed to a robbery or carjacking attempt was about to occur? Might I react differently? How about when one moves from one company or organization to another? The information flows are likely more subtle, but a portion of whether that new employee will be successful or not in the new organization with its own unique culture may depend on how successfully that person is at interpreting and heeding the information flows that impinge.

Fundamentally, searching out information to help you interpret and guide you through the events surrounding you is likely an in-born survival mechanism, fulfilling a need in humans to create order out of disorder. We automatically develop rules-of-thumb or heuristics to help us interpret events, situations and people. As our environments get more and more complex the need for information to successfully navigate that environment grows. Yet it was not too long ago that we got by with substantially less information flows than what we experience today. A farmer just 50 years ago, living in a rural area, making a living from the land did not have nearly the amount of information stimulus that we have today. But the farmer’s children might dream of moving to the big city where life would be more “interesting”. And those in the big city dream of a vacation, “getting away from it all”, and perhaps unarticulated in that notion of “all”, is away from the constant bombardment of information and its attempted influence on us which needs interpretation and digestion.       

I have spent a good deal of my career collecting information from employee or customer surveys and helping organizations interpret that information as a way of dealing with the environments in which they find themselves. I work to increase their performance and to help them and their employees thrive. For me, having information is a critical component of my success in working with clients, and in fact when I am asked questions about the usefulness of employee survey data to achieving business success, my response usually includes the notion of increasing the chances of success by managing with information rather than without. And while I may find the amount of information and processes that impinges on me daily at times to be intrusive, the lack of that information would likely leave me looking for sources of information to help me interpret the complex environment in which I find myself.

© 2010 by Jeffrey M. Saltzman. All rights reserved.

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