Home > EA > Informed Decision? No thanks.

Informed Decision? No thanks.

This is probably just the first post in the chain of rambling thoughts around social aspects in the company life. And again, do not expect any answers. It’s merely a seed for thoughts. This one is related to the previous post about the EA mission I wrote few days ago.

I feel like on a zebra crossing. Days and nights. Optimistic & motivated versus desperate and hopeless (ok, it’s not all that bad, but works for the analogy:). The good days are those when I see the world as Nick Malik describes in his post. Where EA makes perfect sense and there’s no doubt about it. EA is there to provide facts – information – so that management can make informed decisions, perhaps even aligned to the corporate strategy. The bad days are those when I question that purpose heavily because of the very strong following reason:

Personal Interests

  • securing own position, justifying own existence
  • raising own market value (by getting certification, doing stuff which might not make sense for the company at all)
  • climbing the career ladder
  • expected life-span with the company
  • keeping and gaining power (getting more FTEs, more business domains… simply just more)
  • covering own ass (if something goes wrong or is unmanaged, finger-pointing)
  • keeping or making friends
  • Toy mentality
  • favouring believes to facts
  • salary increase
  • politics
  • narcissism (“I know the best”, “I can not be wrong” attitude)
  • personal life
  • emotions

The power of these, the barriers they can build up to any change, to transparency to common goals… its tremendous. They are by nature conflicting and present everywhere, from the highest management down to each and every individual in the lowest level of the food chain. With this in mind, do you think that managers really decide based on information,  or more on the bullets above?

Aren’t these the actual driving power of a company more than any strategy statements? Would not make more sense to focus attention on influencing these soft facts? Who should do it then? Do you think that strong corporate values and identity could help? How do you tackle this challenge?

Categories: EA
  1. Stanislav Galik
    February 10, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I’ll try to present an opinion based on my knowledge in human decision making:

    I, Me and Myself are the most important people to me. No matter what everyone thinks all the decisions we make are based on pursuing our own interest. For example, even if you say that you do something purely for the interest of your child (or other human being) your primary drive (motivation) comes from your internal world – from YOU. It’s YOU who makes the decision. It’s YOU who wants the expected outcome of this decision. With this in mind, it’s obvious that no decision will be ever made without „Personal Interests“.

    The problem of large companies is that many of their managers do not feel truly and deeply involved in the company. They do not LOVE the company they work for and they do not mind whether they work for company A or B. (Except you work for Google:) There lies the answer to your question about values and identity. YES, shared strong corporate values and identity are fundamental. A lot of attention should be paid here.

    Last but not least,
    No manager will ever have enough information to make completely informed decision. Thus, their EMOTIONAL state (personal interests if you wish) will determine the decision.

    The conclusion: If you want to influence a decision maker you always have to consider his personal interests. Remember one of the biggest truths that the psychology has given us: We are not rational animals, we are rationalizing animals. First we make the decision,then we rationalize why we made it.

    The necessity of EAs work in large corporations is indisputable. In my opinion, their success will be always strongly influenced by their rhetoric skills.

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