Thinking like a scientist
7th April 2016 | Professor Nick Lee
Here are some simple thinking tools to help with problem solving and make us better managers.
If someone asked you whether you were certain that your sales incentive programme was effective, what would you say? What about if they asked whether you knew whether your firm’s advertising was working? Or how about if they asked if you knew the impact on sales success of increasing the amount of new sales calls your salespeople did?
Would you say yes, you knew the answer? If so, how?
In fact, it’s the case that very few people really know the answers to these questions, and the many others that sales managers face every day. How then do managers make decisions about how to most effectively allocate resources?
In my experience, most do it using a combination of one part “gut-feel”, a little bit of “how-we-do-things-around-here”, and perhaps a dash of “this-is-what-I-was-told-to-do”. That said, we shouldn’t feel too bad about this, because that’s how most decisions in business seem to be made, even in today’s big-data world. In fact, it’s usually even worse in politics, because there’s often a large helping of dogma and ideology thrown in!