Does your organization use CI information to make decisions or to justify decisions? Harry Beckwith stated in his newsletter Invisible Ink (September 2007) that “People do not gather data to make a decision, they gather it to justify their decision. They are not accumulating understanding, they are seeking comfort and support.”
As a CI professional, there is nothing more frustrating than working hard to obtain information which is regarded as useless by the recipient, or even worse, criticized as incorrect because it does not support the existing “truth” of management.
Does your organization use your information to justify decisions? If so, how can you break through the established thinking to get them to listen?
Understand what the current management believes are and how these beliefs were acquired. Maybe these presumptions were valid—at one time, but the industry or the competitor has changed since then. Or a single large customer made a statement which was interpreted to the whole universe of clients.
Acknowledge the belief in presentations or papers.
Explain why the industry/customer base/competitor changed and therefore the belief has changed
State the new information
Document and establish the creditability of the sources. This is why I provide transcripts of all conversations with sources. I, a consultant, am not making the statement, but important client X is or a reputable source at a key competitor is. It may be difficult for you to interview competitors, but quotes from its management, photos from a trade show exhibit, or statements by third parties who are creditable to your management may work.
Update your resume. If your management does not listen and does not want to change its established beliefs, then find a job in which your hard work will be appreciated, either inside your organization or outside.
Good luck. This is a tough position to be in. Does any reader have any other good suggestions on how to handle this situation?