Why isn’t there a keeper of statistics?

20 years ago   •   1 min read

By Marcia Kadanoff

In his interview with journalist Michael Schrage, Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman says that he’s really very impressed by the combination of curiosity and resistance that he finds when he talks to business leaders, but adds: “The thing that astonishes me when I talk to business people in the context of decision analysis is that you have an organization that’s making lots of decisions and they’re not keeping track. They’re not trying to learn from their own mistakes; they’re not investing the smallest amount in trying to actually figure out what they’ve done wrong. And that’s not an accident: They don’t want to know. So there is a lot of curiosity, and I get invited to give lots of talks. But the idea that you might want to appoint somebody to keep statistics on the decisions that you made and a few years later evaluate the biases, the errors, the forecasts that were wrong, the factors that were misjudged, in order to make the process more rational—they won’t want to do it.”

Strategy + Business Dec 2003

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