You have likely read about this topic on here before, but it is important to reignite the discussion.
It has become all too common. A story comes out that frustrates someone, or disagrees with an individual’s viewpoints.
The story begins to trend digitally and rises in popularity via clicks, comments, or tweets.
Articles are written, and writers lazily take the comments of few, and title their pieces with lines like “People are upset” or “Many express anger.”
The thing is, this is an incorrect assumption. Yes, it is clear that some people are frustrated. However, there is no adequate gauge for the entire country. We cannot fully understand the reach of the story. Writers instead assume that if a few people have expressed their dissatisfaction from keyboards on their devices, the entire country must feel the same.
Look, this laziness has consequences. This is why Trump was elected. Pollsters didn’t adequately gather data, and Hillary’s staff fell prey to misinformation.
Companies mess this up all the time with regard to new product launches or anticipated future earnings. They miscalculate the profit expectation or consumer adoptions. They report the news back to Wall Street and the stock falls.
Entertainment hubs are guilty of this as well. Focus on any movie that flops. They clearly didn’t do enough data collection leading up to film development to realize that the American public was not interested in viewing the story.
Local governments mess this up on a regular basis when planning for a particular project. Think about any infrastructure project you’ve seen in your local community that now appears out of place, mistimed, or inept. This was because the city planners miscalculated the demand or necessary supply.
Companies, politicians, and college campuses are guilty of this all the time. It is rooted in poor, and more often than not, lazy data collection. They miscalculate the demand and inaccurately gauge the temperature. They blanket the thoughts of the loudest as emblematic of the majority. This is often not the case. The loudest are the most excitable, but seldom the majority. They are just the most passionate regarding the issue. This doesn’t make them the most qualified. Loudness and education do not complement one another.
What can be done to fix the problem? For one, the aforementioned groups must stop pivoting or knee jerking instantly. Caving to the pressure of a few loud folks continues to galvanize and incentivize them to cry out next time they disagree.
Patience is key. It’s tempting in our technologically-advanced era to hit a button and cancel the project, terminate the idea, or apologize and quickly move on. This is not always the case and certainly not necessary.
Next, planning ahead is critical. Mass data collection, as well as gathering an accurate understanding of the majority, has never been easier, but people are guilty of taking the lazy way out. Just because it is a top trend on Twitter does not mean that everyone knows about the story or even cares. Just because CNN or Fox are leading with the story doesn’t mean everyone should be mindful of it. Before a problem presents itself data collection is necessary. It seems that most do this as an afterthought. They throw something out and see what sticks or doesn’t.
Americans appreciate leadership, and leadership can be shown even if it is taking a stand against a mob, while knowing the rest of America doesn’t feel this way. This out-of-the box thinking is why certain companies do well. This leadership is why a little known black man was able to ascend to the presidency in 2008. This is why cities thrive and others don’t.
Plan before you make the move. Gather an accurate tone of the majority. Stay true to your beliefs, but evolve with the times if your base expects it. That is leadership. That’s why Apple is around and Kodak is bankrupt. This is why Trump is president and the Democrats are still sputtering. That’s why Seattle is thriving and Detroit is struggling.