April 3, 2011

Evidence-Based Management and Good to Great

Posted in BADM 720 at 1:02 pm by Sarah

This reading’s Evidence-Based Management case I thought was a much better expression of what we read a couple weeks ago about the strategies of effective team leaders.  This case was first of all much easier to read, and more importantly, the authors were very clear about the points they wanted to make and gave some effective examples.  Unlike the previous reading, this case did a fine job of responding the question of why managers do not make use of the wealth of business knowledge available.  The answer, of course, is complicated, as there are many reasons.

I thought one of the most important sentiments expressed was that of embracing the attitude of wisdom.  Too many managers act like they already have all the answers.  After all, why else would they have been given their position in the first place?  But if they already know everything, then they can’t learn anything, and they will never improve.  “Cultivating the right balance of humility and decisiveness” sounds difficult, especially since one would most likely be the only person in the organization striving toward it, but the conscious effort would be so beneficial in all areas of life, not just at work.

The other reading about Jim Collins’ book Good to Great argues that the book is an example of how not to use evidence.  The authors’ main beef seems to be Collins’ use of data-mining; in other words, he looked at the information he had and saw what he wanted to see.  The right “evidence” can be used to argue for anything, but that doesn’t make it true.  Collins is also accused of mistaking association for causation.  Just because two events happen concurrently doesn’t mean that one event has caused the other.  The authors make their gripes pretty clear, and are careful not to commit the same mistakes themselves.

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