Empirical Creativity

Just read Jim Collins’ latest book, Great By Choice, in which he compares companies that thrived during challenging times with those who didn’t.  Loved the book, and I like to share what I learn. So here’s one of the key concepts…

Collins writes, “Social psychology research indicates that at times of uncertainty, most people look to other people – authority figures, peers, group norms – for their primary cues about how to proceed.” Successful companies, in contrast, “do not look to conventional wisdom to set their course during times of uncertainty, nor do they primarily look to what other people do, or to what pundits and experts say they should do. They look primarily to empirical evidence.”

This one is difficult for me. Not because I look to other people or conventional wisdom, but because I look to my intuitions. If you’re familiar with the Myers Briggs type indicator, I am an “N” off the charts. N’s go by their intuition, while S’s go more by empirical data. So this one is a struggle for me.

What about you and the team you lead? Do you look to other people, to conventional wisdom, to your intuition, or (like the successful companies) empirical evidence?