Article Review

INDEPTH: IRAQ (CBC News Line, 7/9/2004)

If you looking for it, you will probably find it.  That’s what this article says about the US military intelligence effort to find WMDs in Iraq in order to justify the second US invasion of Iraq.

American intelligence had already decided the outcome of the WMD search and that the US would likely go to war.  The problem with this preconception is twofold:  the investigators misinterpreted ambiguous information, and their supervisors never challenged the conclusions.  In the end, only one thing matters:  they were wrong.

In business, misinterpreted data in favour of one’s own opinion is just as dangerous.  No information should be accepted at face value.  In organizations where workers have no say and are not allowed to question existing procedures, there is little chance that “group think” will not be a factor in bad decisions.

 Good to Great, or Just Good?

It’s interesting when someone’s refutation of a dogmatic argument is just as dogmatic as the argument itself.  In this article, the authors (Bruce Niendorf and Kristine Beck) blast Jim Collin’s book Good to Great saying that there are serious flaws in Collin’s reasoning.  There are logic flaws in this article as well.

Even with flaws, both works make great points.  First, companies need to use methods that they think are valuable in determining positive change.  In the case of Good to Great, the succesful companies used data mining and associations to look for patterns that might provide clues to positive changes.  However, Niendorf and Beck are correct stating that the companies did not complete the process by fully understanding the cause and effect of the patterns.  They simply assumed there was such an effect.The companies also needed to verify expected results.

Strategies of Effective New Product Team Leaders

This is a great article about behaviors of effective leaders working in new product development (NPD) and the organizations in which they thrive.  The best part of the article talks about how these organizations select the leaders, train them and allow them to operate.

Because behavior is very much affected by environment, it is difficult to be a good leader in an organization that does not allow that behavior.  In this case, the organization promotes principles such as collaboration, transparency, learning and other positive principles.  It all starts with an organizational commitment to effective leadership.  With that commitment, the company can build and improve the environment required for effective leaders.

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Explore posts in the same categories: BADM 720 - Organizational Behavior

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