Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Turner Syndrome

Have you ever met with an accomplished executive or manager and discover, once the conversation shifts to a subject area outside of the person's expertise, that this usually insightful person has turned into Ted Turner?

Do you ever wonder why CEOs are prone to buy dubious management fads that have Flavor of the Month stamped on the cover?

I suspect that these hard-nosed decision makers are especially prone to misjudgment when confronted with social science-related subjects, such as diversity and affirmative action. Unfortunately, there are plenty of "experts" willing to encourage those misjudgments if sizable amounts of money are involved.

This is not meant to mock. Their stumbles are a reminder to all of us that a combination of humility and skepticism may be needed when we step outside of our zones of knowledge.


John said...

Seems like that happens a lot in Washington. In fact, that seems to be how they make a living.

Dan Richwine said...

Which is why, of course, that all successful people should constantly step outside of their zones of knowledge and try new things. I'm really good at what I do, but when I try new things against experts, I am humbled.

Serves as a good lesson which I must relearn often.