Gut Instinct – On The Way Out?

Posted by Tom Locke on December 7th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, History, Life, Technology

Michael Eisner, former CEO of Walt Disney, described gut feeling “as the sum total of all of your past experiences, from the time you were a child to where you are today”. According to Eisner, “that sum total enables you to make reasonable decisions”.

According to Forbes, ask any executive whether they study data before making a key decision and almost all will say they do, but what’s fascinating is that only one out of ten executives will then do what they data says is the right path, if it contradicts their gut feeling. According to executive staffing firm Crist Kolder Associates, the average age of a Fortune 500 CEO is 58 which may explain why there is still a reliance on instinct above data when making pertinent decisions.

Per the latest Wifi Hifi newsletter, it is guestimated that by the time millennials reach an age where they are sitting in the CEO chair, they could be driven 90% by data and 10% on instinct.

Undeniably, massive streams of data from web analytics and social media stats play a huge role in influencing decision making. It should come as no surprise that data analytics is one of the hottest areas to find a job. Data Scientists will tell you that by extrapolating the numbers, you remove the emotion and subjectivity out of a decision and well, you move forward, based on objective rational analytics.

In other words the numbers don’t lie. That may be why, according to Forbes, only 20% of CEO’s trust the competence of their Chief Marketing Officer (creative) compared to 90% of CEO’s who trust their Chief Financial Officer (numbers).

So, as to future decision making … time will tell.

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