In business environments and especially on ‘top-management-level’ where an academic education is usually a condition for admission to the in-crowd, logic is the ruling principle for all communication and decision making. Any form of irrational behavior, intuitive, 'gut-feel' or otherwise emotionally driven decision making will certainly meet skepticism from at least part of the leadership team especially since individual accountability is supposed to be based on a direct cause-effect relationship between someone’s actions and his contribution to the company.
Nevertheless, our experience is that logic is frequently questionable to say the least. Even with teams that claim logic prevails in all their decision making processes. There are several reasons:
- It is a natural tendency for any individual to 'bend' his reasoning towards his preferences. It is a common tendency to reason towards a desired outcome.
- Most people are selective in their observations. They pay more attention to signals that support their beliefs than the ones that warn them for misconceptions.
- People tend to avoid conflict and compromise with their team members.
- People have a limited perspective on the subject matter. Most people reason exclusively from their responsibility and (!) are rewarded to behave in that manner by the organization.
- In general people are not trained properly to apply robust logic in their reasoning.
In general we perceive the following dilemma:
The direction to the solution is to align generally accepted logic and individual intuition to create a common believes system. We don’t mean ‘believe’ in any religious way or form, but we simply point out that many people seem to forget that logic is not an absolute truth. It is an attempt to reach common understanding on cause and effect. Any realistic scientist will agree that a ‘law’ is true until it is falsified.
So all logic is based on assumptions and assumptions differ from person to person, because their perceptions and pre-occupations differ. The problem is that we are usually not outspoken about the conditions of the logic we apply. Therefore we use to work under the constant illusion of rigorous logic whereas at the end of the day it turns out we all meant something else.