‘Going with your gut’ is not a ‘business strategy’.

Here’s a link to my latest article on LinkedIn. If you’d like to read the article in entirety here, look below the link.

‘Going with your gut’​ is not a ‘business strategy’​

So, two days a go I was scrolling through my IG feed and I saw this: I was instantly distressed. Let me tell you why.

My latest article on LinkedIn

So, two days a go I was scrolling through my IG feed and I saw this:

Text that says "Sometimes, simply going with your gut is the best business strategy there is."

I was instantly distressed. Let me tell you why.

First, ‘going with your gut’ is not a good thing in business. In your personal life, sometimes, sure. But in business, no. No, no, no- especially if you have investors or are looking to attract them. Investors are not going to like the idea of ‘gut’ decision making because

  • you can’t measure ‘gut’.
  • you can’t calculate ROI on ‘gut’
  • there’s no way to predict ‘gut’
  • the list of factors that might affect ‘gut’ is unfathomable considering it must contain subjective assertions and values

Second, the definition of strategy, according to Merriam-Webster, is “a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal usually over a long period of time”. Consequently, a strategy cannot involve ‘gut’ decisions.

Third, this terrible piece of advice was being targeted to small businesses. If small businesses follow this advice, the consequences include not only staying small, but also disappearing altogether. I champion small businesses, so if you are a small business owner reading this, and you don’t know how to make true strategic decisions, here’s some free advice- get a Business Analyst.

It’s perfectly fine to make a decision based on arbitrary ‘gut’ reasoning, as long as the person(s) making the decision recognizes that that is precisely what they are doing, and is aware of the possible risks and consequences of doing such. But to disguise (re-name, re-brand, re-imagine) such a decision as a business strategy just won’t do.

Now some people might say I’m being too picky- that I’m missing the meaning in what was said. I would argue the opposite. As Business Analyst, I’m relied upon for clear and effective communication. In order to communicate clearly, I need to be precise in my explanations and avoid confusion or misconceptions. If I don’t do that, my value as a Business Analyst is diminished significantly.

What do you think?

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