Archive for the ‘Facts’ Category

Want to Learn? Put Aside Your Ideologies

October 9, 2007

Ideology is among the more widespread, potent, and vexing impediments to clearly seeing the facts. People routinely ignore evidence when it clashes with their political convictions or idiosyncratic personal histories. Simon and Garfunkel were right when they sang, “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

Academics and other thought leaders may worship and believe in their own theories so fervently that it renders them incapable of learning from new evidence. This happens because people “see what they believe.”

Regrettably, too often ideology trumps evidence.

Learning is difficult when leaders or anyone else is driven by ideology rather than evidence.

Hard Facts by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton

You are not entitled to your own facts

October 6, 2007

You are entitled to your opinion.  But you are not entitled to your own facts.

— Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

“When two people always agree, one of them is unnecessary”

September 10, 2007

“Selecting leaders — avoid at all costs the people who think they know everything. They don’t. But worse than that, they are unlikely to embrace any facts that disagree with their perceptions.”

“When two people always agree, one of them is unnecessary”

Hard Facts by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton

Word of the Day: barking moonbat

September 8, 2007

A barking moonbat is someone who bases their belief, not on evidence, logic, or reason, but simply on things that they want to believe and completely ignoring facts.

unSpun by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Facts and Evidence: the great levelers

September 5, 2007

“James Barksdale, a former CEO of Netscape, once remarked at a company meeting something to the effect:”

If the decision is going to be made by the facts, then anyone’s facts, as long as they are relevant, are equal. If the decision is going to be made on the basis of people’s opinions, then mine [he was the CEO at the time] counts for a lot more.

“What this anecdote illustrates is that facts and evidence are great levelers of a corporate hierarchy.”

Hard Facts by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton