Information with Too Little Thinking

Information is good to have, but lots of information with too little thinking is not a good idea. What does that mean?

Information is Just That

Information is nothing more than data and facts to consider when making a decision. Unless that information is processed properly then it is useless. I’m a big proponent of having a set of sound principles to interpret things, including all the information related to business.

What Are Some of Those Principles

Here are a few of the principles I resort to when trying to make sense of information and make the correct decisions.

  • Integrity always matters
  • People are important and should be treated with respect, regardless of their position
  • Testing for inconsistencies and contradictions is vital
  • Some things simply will not be known, so no decision will be perfect
  • True mistakes are unintentional
  • Poor ethical choices are usually intentional

You may have other principles you use, but whatever they are they are of no use unless you use them to aid in making decisions. Sound principles are essential to sound thinking. Otherwise, the input, i.e. information, is likely to be misused. This is what I mean by the expression lots of information with too little thinking.

A Word of Caution

In the rush to get things done in today’s business environment we often make hasty decisions. Sometimes we make a default decision that seems to go with the social norms. This has great value in speeding things along, but it has an inherent risk if we are unwilling to occasionally pause and think deeply. When we do this we sometimes realize that the decisions we have been making that have worked in the past may not be correct any more. Situations change. Looking at the principles I listed above it is easy to see that a change of circumstances could render a decision that was equitable in the past to be one that under the current circumstances devalues people. What does that mean?

Quite frankly, what has worked in the past and has been fair and respectful of all the people involved may now be inappropriate. Consider the case of an employee who has a family dynamic that must be handled. Though we still expect them to accomplish the essentials of their job, as human beings we are called to have compassion. We would want to be treated the same. But as long as we process information the same old way without a willingness to stop and think about how just a little new information might change things, we risk being guilty of having lots of information with too little thinking.

How do decisions get made and evaluated in your company? Do your principles and values include respect for others? Do they allow flexibility to accommodate special circumstances? Do you periodically pause to reflect on how things are operating to see if there are things that no longer work as intended?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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