Why do We Market with Precision and Compose our Teams with Gut Feel?

Intuition is overrated.

When I started my B2B software career as a Director of Marketing, we still used a lot of intuition.

That was in 1999, but it might as well have been in 1899 because marketing has moved so far beyond intuition that our approach only 18 years ago seems beyond outdated.

But, one thing looks very similar in 2017 as it did back then… the way we manage people.

We hire, fire, promote, and engage employees with only incrementally more data and analysis than we used 20 or 30 years ago. Phrases like “trust your gut” and “I have a good feeling” prevail. In other words… we rely on a lot of intuition. If marketers talk like this in 2017, they get fired, but making a personnel decision this way is somehow acceptable.

And, it’s not just marketing that has moved on. If you’re buying a product or even choosing a hotel, you look at online reviews. If you are lending money or making an investment you do your due diligence and pull credit reports.

The list goes on.

Personnel is strategy. Decisions we make about teams open (or close) the doors to growth and competitive advantage.

The most important decisions that many leaders make are around personnel so we should give these decisions the attention and the structure they deserve. As leaders, we need to know who to hire, train, promote, and put on the key team. We are faced with high stakes decisions around composing teams to support diverse points of view and high performance. In these critical decisions, leaders could benefit from more data and objectivity.

Even more importantly, employees deserve more access to the data they need to connect with the right colleagues at the right time whether seeking professional development, creating a team to support a strategic project, or just forming a book club. Yet, employees constantly complain that they are unable to get timely and efficient access to the right colleagues. Some employees develop internal “networking” skills, but those approaches aren’t scalable.

I’m interested in whether leaders in other organizations see what I saw in building a software company from 0 to 250 people.

Do you see these issues in your own organization? Do you think intuition is overrated?

This also appeared on LinkedIn

Want to learn how to build an agile & empowered workplace?

Explore Structural