HBR: Evidence-Based Management

My response to HBR’s article on Evidence-Based Management:

I agree with the article’s view on evidence based management and especially in the counter argument against forced ranking.  It does make sense to pay your higher performing individuals more, at first glance.  As the article states, the larger the gap between senior leaderships pay and the rest of the employees the more likely the chance that the product quality will be poor.  I’ve seen this at my own company.  You end up with resentment and a disengaged team of employees.  Creativity breaks down and the system runs like a motor that hasn’t had its oil changed in thirty thousand miles.  Moral maturity takes a couple right hand jabs that force frustration and lead directly to inefficiencies in time management.

Many managers use intuition to make decisions but that intuition should be supported by evidence based facts.  I would counter that it can’t be the only deciding factor in the decision making process but it should play a vital role and that judgment falls on the managers. 

Evidence based techniques could potentially play an important role in the decision making practice.  Implementing the system will be difficult though as long as the manager is not engaged and invested in the plan.  Training anyone, including yourself, to avoid some of the six or so different pitfalls the article mentioned is difficult.  When you’re comfortable with a certain method or limited by past experience or not aware of other possibilities moving to the articles methods will come with some obstacles and as I see it, will depend heavily on leaderships commitment.


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