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Tama Co. Economic Development By Heath Kellogg

June 7, 2018
Northern-Sun Print
A little old lady answered a knock on the door one day, only to be confronted by a well-dressed young man carrying a vacuum cleaner. “Good morning,” said the young man. “If I could take a couple minutes of your time, I would like to demonstrate the very latest in high-powered vacuum cleaners.” “Get lost!” said the old lady. “I haven’t got any money,” and she proceeded to close the door. Quick as a flash, the young man wedged his foot in the door and pushed it wide open. “Don’t be too hasty!” he said. “Not until you have at least seen my demonstration.” And with that, he emptied a bucket of horse manure all over the hallway carpet. He continued, “And if this vacuum cleaner doesn’t remove all traces of this horse manure from your carpet, Madam, I will personally eat what’s left.” “Well,” the old lady said, “I hope you are hungry, because the power got cut off this morning. Starting something new is one of the biggest challenges in life, whether it’s moving to a new place, changing a career, deciding to expand your business or launching a new business. The one resource that is required above all else is simple in concept but difficult in practice: the courage to make decisions. This topic of where humans get the courage to make decisions has always fascinated me. Malcom Gladwell’s book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. He describes “thin-slicing”: our ability to use limited information from a very narrow period of experience to come to a conclusion. This idea suggests that spontaneous decisions are often as good as-or even better than-carefully researched and thoughtfully considered ones. Gladwell explains that sometimes having too much information can interfere with the accuracy of a judgment, or a doctor’s diagnosis. In what Gladwell contends is an age of information overload, he finds that experts often make better decisions with snap judgments than they do with volumes of analysis. This is commonly called “analysis paralysis”. The challenge is to sift through and focus on only the most critical information. The other information may be irrelevant and confusing. Collecting more information, in most cases, may reinforce our judgment but does not help make it more accurate. Gladwell explains that better judgments can be executed from simplicity and frugality of information. If the big picture is clear enough to decide, then decide from this without using a magnifying glass. Gladwell’s concept when you relate it to people deciding to take a risk and expand or start a business is seen virtually everywhere every day. Logically given enough time, data and information, virtually everyone- even the most risk averse person in the world hesitates and not risks the unknown. Lucky for us there are a few people left in our country that have the courage to make a decision that seems crazy.


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