How can we manage a business that we cannot measure?

The human brain
Image via Wikipedia

It is true that we can only control something that we measure, but there are many situations in a business that a manager need to decide without much information. A good manager tries to make decisions from information and measures but competence pressure could impose a fast resolution.

What a manager use in that case is his intuition. An intuitive action is rarely efficient, but it can be effective. Efficiency is fundamental in a cost cutting scenario, but in many other situations the most important thing is effectiveness.

Intuition is based on experience, that is the reason why a manager with very much experience is preferable to an inexpert manager. We can think about intuition as the automatic experience-based response of our brain. This point justifies the attempts to use artificial neural nets as management tools, but we must not forget that now, there is not an artificial neural net similar to the brain of a very expert manager.

Intuition cannot work well when the event has not been experienced, then new situations could not be well-solved by an expert manager. This issue is especially important when we are managing innovation, because we have not previous experience of the new product in the market.

The experience of an innovation manager is more related to the way that we can focus on new situations than to the behavior of the new product in the market.

If we want to manage innovation really, we must find tools to measure the effect of the new technology in our business, and this one could need more than an intuition.


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