No, we aren’t talking phone
lines nor information flow. We’re talking about
thinking. More importantly, we’re talking about how easy
it is becoming NOT to think.
With today’s ability to
access vast amounts of information, developing a gut
knowledge of your business is more critical than ever.
How easy is it to search a topic on the Internet, find
an article that fits what you want, and use it for
research or background?
A great example of this is
the gaffe made by the President in his State of the
Union address. A White House staffer had found a report
that Saddam Hussein had tried to purchase 500 tons of
nuclear material for developing weapons. This was
repeated in Bush’s speech. It turned out to be an
erroneous report with no basis in fact.
A recent consumer survey of
automobile buyers showed that people place more
credibility in what salespeople tell them at the
dealership than in information they get on the Web. Does
this mean that they hold auto salespeople in high
esteem, or that they do not believe everything they read
For every valid news story
that makes its way onto the Web, there can be a dozen
that are either partially or completely false. The
ability to sort through information and trace back
sources and legitimacy of reports will be a crucial
skill to own as information becomes more abundant.
What does this mean for
business? The role of research analyst in your company
will become more and more important. Whether the subject
is marketing, product development, competitive analysis
or whatever, the ability to think and not just mimic
will be at a premium.
This is one case where
analog will beat digital every time.