The news is awash with the US presidential primaries and the potential of a Brexit – (the UK leaving the EU). Much of the “information” available to the general public, as provided by those shouting loudest, seems to be based on fiction! Or at least mostly fiction with a bit of fact thrown in to make it seem legitimate.
Sadly, many people are jumping on various bandwagons; Sanders, Trump, Clinton in the US, Stay or Leave in the UK, and in many cases for the wrong reasons. I am not positioning here, I will avoid commentary on any specific candidate or position for the UK. However, what I find most frustrating in most of politics, is the inability to speak clearly with facts.
Sure, in the presidential run up there are plenty of facts to discuss, historical positions, things said, things done, etc. which can assist to form a position. There are plenty of these facts being thrown around by all candidates, but figuring out which are true in the context and intent is another story. The facts are twisted to suit the position. Contexts changed or modified to create more significance than was intended or vice versa and so on..
In the UK, it is worse, there is no historical position or precedent to establish facts. There are facts which exist in the current relationship, but nobody really knows what a Brexit would actually look like. This week’s Economist even has an article about the facts being spun to suit both campaigns. All we want are facts.
I suppose I shouldn’t expect so much from politics – we in the business world often twist the facts to support our opinion. Maslow’s motivational pyramid & Mayo’s Hawthorne experiment are both different in their original context than what we tend to write about and teach in classrooms (possibly a big understatement?). Probably the biggest twisting of facts is the idea that 93% of communication has nothing to do with words. That’s not what Mehrabian said!
In the Lean community we constantly harp on about going to Gemba – go see for yourself, get the facts, ask questions, etc. I hope that the above prompts a few people to do the same with regards to their political positions regarding arguably the 2 biggest decisions facing the western world this year. Go to Gemba – get your facts! Ask questions & challenge things that don’t make sense!
None of the links in this post are exhaustive – do your own research – get your own facts!