Evidence based management

September 23, 2017

Life consists of a sequence of choices. Managers must make several judgments, ranging from day-to-day business operations to key decisions about a company’s future orientation. Managers’ ability to make sound decisions is becoming increasingly important. What would you do if you were the CEO of Amazon? How would you cope with the obstacles posed by competitors? This situation is why you should employ evidence-based management and get your problem-solving style so that managers can make sensible, fact-based decisions, lifting conversations from preferences and opinions to logic and insights.

Evidence-based management is a growing concept that aims to use and analyze several high-quality experiments and other studies to achieve beneficial results. These interventions typically rely on well-established facts with a high likelihood of effectiveness and a low risk of damage.

Unfortunately, many managers in today’s business world are not solving challenges based on relevant evidence of best practices. Without quantitative data, any initiative’s success is based solely on guesswork and assumptions. Dogma and belief still drive a lot of decisions. They aren’t generating hypotheses with creativity, and they aren’t solving issues with innovation. They are scared to try new things, fear failure, and lack original judgment. The situation will remain unchanged, and the problems will remain unsolved.

We now live in a world of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) with far too much data. Managers and entrepreneurs should think like Sherlock Holmes and make theories that they can subsequently test and prove correct. Apply the scientific approach to your organization and treat it as an incomplete prototype, encouraging trial and error experiments. Evidence-based practice is a branch of applied research that incorporates the best ideas from the last 200 years.

When medical researchers realized that many therapists performed poorly despite data indicating that they should not, a movement to pay attention to evidence-based practice arose. For example, medical professionals and nurses took nearly 40 years to wash their hands before surgery. Meanwhile, according to recent studies, doctors only wash their hands about a third of the time they should, and only around 15% of physician judgments are evidence-based. To have an impact, you must influence individuals using proven psychology theories rather than simply asking them to perform in a certain way.

Another example is professional baseball, which is riddled with beliefs about the best players and how to put together winning teams. To win the game, the general manager exhibited strategic thinking. While confronting resistance to innovation in the sports industry, Michael Lewis’s book Moneyball provides evidence-based methods for picking players.

Similarly, the corporate world exhibits the same behaviour, with many old misconceptions dominating. The persistence of the first-mover-advantage fallacy can be attributed to ideology. However, empirical data suggests that getting it well is more important than getting it first. Amazon isn’t the first online bookstore, and neither is Google the first search engine. To launch the first product does not have to be the best, but merely good enough.

Another myth concerns the most significant variables for a company’s success. According to a survey, 17 per cent of people have no goals, whereas 75 per cent have clear goals that contribute to good performance. Innovation and new initiatives account for 25% of the total, while good leaders and CEOs account for 10%. As a result, setting goals in management is an excellent idea. Organizations would perform better if leaders were aware of and used the most up-to-date research.

Furthermore, it was formerly a popular belief among employers that criticizing, complaining, and condemning employees would motivate them to work harder and produce greater results. On the contrary, negative emotions hurt performance. Criticism demotivates people, making them fearful of making mistakes. There appears to be a link between smiling and increased sales. Suppose you didn’t rely on the study. In that case, you’d undoubtedly launch a campaign to ensure that every employee smiles, but this could backfire because the employee may be too preoccupied to grin during a successful transaction. Furthermore, there is scant evidence that any equity reward, including stock options, improves organizational performance.

Finally, managers must modify their ways of thinking and do by putting their faith in science. To avoid untested ideas, gather good data. It is important to your firm since best practices improve performance and outperform the competition. The technology could help decision-makers use data and analytics better; evaluating outcomes could give a more transparent lens to evaluate present methods. This evidence provides a platform for fact-based and insight-based empirical analysis of change and efforts.


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Experience in software development, application architecture, and deploying cloud solutions for enterprise customers. Strong hands-on skills with a Master's degree in Computer Science and business acumen with a master of business administration (MBA) in Finance. Certified in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, Kubernetes (CKA, CKAD, CKS, KCNA) and Scrum (PSM, PSPO) with experience in building banking products from scratch. Connect on Linkedin

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