I’m fed up of simplistic explanations: this caused that. Or this will fix that. In business, in politics, in life.
It’s now a well-documented that we in the West have a strong cognitive bias> to simplistic explanations. And thus simple solutions.
This last week I’ve been thinking about the financial markets in this light, revisiting Hume’s old adage again and again: “When we look about us towards external objects, and consider the operation of causes, we are never able, in a single instance, to discover any power or necessary connexion; any quality, which binds the effect to the cause, and renders the one an infallible consequence of the other. We only find, that the one does actually, in fact, follow the other”
As ever the Economist gets it right. Read their 12 pager on why it’s a “series of risks” built by the US financial community over time plus changes in the outside world that have created the current problems. And how it’s going to take quite a while to unpick the current situation.
Sorry – I know we’d all have prefered something more headline grabbing – like it was “Bush what done it”. Truth is the world ain’t like that. Note to managers everywhere. Note to marketers. Note to myself (cause I’m just as prone as anyone else to trace simplistic cause and effect relationships