Are We Asking The Right Questions?
All too often at work I find that the right questions are not being asked. As an example I find it intensely annoying that when a particular idea catches the attention of a senior leader from that point on a bias is created within the organisation that prevents discussion. Key questions don’t get asked about alternative approaches, other areas more worthy of investment, or even worse the ‘golden idea’ bypasses the very governance processes that are designed to make it succeed.
This bias effect in favour of the ‘golden idea’ has existed in every company I’ve worked for. It’s very unfortunate as the results tend to be:
- A bias towards big strategic ‘impressive’ ideas, that rarely deliver
- A bias towards capital investments, especially those involving external suppliers, who wine and dine and feed the ego’s of the decision makers
- A tendency to ignore failings in ‘golden’ projects, which ultimately significantly reduces their likelihood of success
- A bias towards enterprise level and/or global initiatives
This post was inspired by a dramatic example of this bias in action, the High Speed Rail link. The superb New Economics Foundation provides a great article today describing some of the alternative ways in which the money could be ‘better’ spent.
I particularly like the suggested £2B investment in cycling and walking that I think would create a huge number of jobs in this country and well as enhancing the environment, health and happiness of the population for hundreds of years.