Tuesdays with a farmer - Instinct Vs Analysis - Part II

Farmer: When we are talking about instinct, we are talking about something which cannot be analyzed. So if we are talking about balance between instinct and analysis, its ridiculous. 

Nature is a great strategist. When we need good strategy in this new era, then in some ways we can change the model of nature and apply to business. We should be able to. Strategy is the key for business. And may be nature is a good point to start with. Now we know that the main spring of nature is instinct. So really, a class in strategy should be a class in instinct. 

Student: Can’t we second instinct by analysis?

Farmer: You cant really second your instinct by analysis. They are done by different ways. The processing you will do in analysis comes no way close to the way you would do in instinct. They go by very different rules.  Often, many managers use a good consultant to tell them things that they want to say to the board. You know how they do this. They decide what they are going to do this. They get a consultant who would tell the exact thing. Now they have paid for a smart guy who is telling what they should be doing which they wanted to do anyway.  

Student: Let’s say a manager instinctively realizes that if he packages a product in a specific manner, it would be far more profitable. Now he has to analyze his instinct and present it to the production department to work it out so that processes could be designed in such a way that in the end, it would come close to his instinct. In such a situation, don’t you think analysis is required for the instinct to take shape?

Farmer: There will be a time that analysis would come into the design of a product. The point is where. What is that really makes the product amazing? Is it the part  they  are manufacturing? Is that the part that is amazing or this vision of how the product should be that really causes the difference between that product and any other product. Finally, there would be a nut and bolt involved. But which is really the great part? Most probably it is this part where the manager realizes instinctively, may be we should do it this way.And then, the mechanics of the product takes over. I am asking you why do you need analysis? Why do you need to learn more?

Student: Probably, it’s the fear of failure which forces you to know more

Farmer: There is no evidence that analysis has furthered your goals. If you look at it from a rational point of view, there is no evidence that analysis has led to a better world. It seems like that. Analysis has messed up the world to a large extent. The part of the world that doesn’t analyze is actually far more healthier than the part that analyzes.

If you take this building where we are now( referring to the B-School campus where the students are seated), there is no evidence that the large amount of analysis that went into the construction of this building has made life better for those living in it.

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