Objectivity can be easily destroyed

The known facts of a situation can be easily overshadowed by feelings, opinions, guesses, fears, concerns, prejudices, hopes, expectations, beliefs, interpretations, assumptions, and myths. That’s a lot to fight against and is it any wonder that so few decisions made are based on facts — facts that match objective reality, are independently verifiable, and are backed up with evidence.

As an example, a previous client was ready to initiate a couple of expensive projects to rectify perceived shortcomings in their level of service. We started an A3 for each problem and it quickly became obvious that there were no real (supported by facts) shortcomings/problems to solve. One of those projects was meant to address the perceived slowness in providing daily prices for foreign bonds. The pervasive feeling, within the company, was that they were always the last ones to provide prices while their industry peers were a few hours faster. Facts told a different story — the client was usually in the middle of the pack and once in a while was the last one, but only when there was a special unforeseen event in a particular foreign market (a market that this company specialized in).

My advice to them, “Don’t bother trying to provide prices faster as there is no benefit in doing so. However, if you really want to improve how you approach work take a look at why you spot check calculations and prices 4 times within your process while your peers do so only once (if at all). Multiple checks don’t buy you anything; instead, you waste time and resources that could be utilized elsewhere. Most likely you are doing this because your company culture is extremely risk-averse; however, the risk is an imagined risk.”

I ended up losing some potential billing time but received great satisfaction by preventing the client from wasting a lost of time, effort, and money — I think this exchange was ultimately in my favor.

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