How many times has this happened to you? You’ve finally nailed your job, but they suddenly hand you a new boss? Just when you were finding your zone, a new president or CEO or sergeant rides in on his new white charger pointing his sword in a whole new direction.
Life is change and change is never easy. However, we’ve been told lately we finally have what it takes to take change head on. Data….! If we can simply crunch enough facts and stats, we can ride this bronco of change more fully prepared than any other generation before us. Just look around you. Your world is crammed with more data-gathering devices than ever before.
Our cars are stuffed with chips, sensors and software. Our smart phones are so smart they can find the answers and directions and algorithms for us with the click of an inquisitive finger. Better yet, Siri can speak them for us. Your heart, your lungs, your weight? She can instantly access whatever data you need about any part of your anatomy. Same with inanimate objects like that road up ahead whose traffic you can now predict or whose bridge safety you can now determine.
But…! Well, there’s always a “but” to every fairy tale. In this case it’s in the disturbing little fact that our legions of data-analysts have substituted the little word “why” with the little word “what.”Their enormous body of data can report all the what’s but none of the why’s. Which means if Henry Ford had asked data-analyst algorithms what his customers wanted, they would have replied “a faster horse.”
In other words, now that we have saddled this bronco of change in our world with such remarkable data gathering-and-analysis, lets not stop there. Lets make sure the inherent inquisitiveness and madness of the human spirit is somehow incorporated into that new saddle. We need to explore the still-disguised reasons WHY we do and dream the things we do.
The statisticians answer: “This is not our job.” They’re right. So maybe it’s time we added some “why” experts to this “what” game. As in more psychologists, writers, philosophers, and even a few gifted madmen. In other words, lets bring our staid, stuffy stats & facts to full life.
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