Public image for both companies and people has always been important and even more so with the availability of information at our disposal. But even with these tools we are still dealing with asymmetrical information when making decisions and establishing culture.
I spoke to a friend over dinner the other night who travels overseas for work quite a bit. As a result he is not up to speed on current US events and was unaware of the string of crisis that have impacted Uber.
He was shocked to learn that they were involved in lawsuits, scandals and more. It was actually a bit like hearing it for the first time myself as I had a chance to see his emotions as he learned the news.
His opinion of Uber was shaped on asymmetrical information.
I had mentioned in a previous post that some local companies that tout their high employee reviews are not as shiny from the inside. Again, asymmetrical information.
The director of the FBI has been fired, we as the public are dealing with asymmetrical information for the reasons behind it.
I state all of this to say that we must constantly strive to learn, ingest and understand as much as we can when making decisions about the companies we deal with and people we hire.
I recently took part in a process where a new employee was terminated. It was unfortunate but they were not a good fit for the role, exaggerated a bit during the interview process and then didn’t make up for it after being hired.
This person is someone that I wouldn’t mind being friends with, but they were not suited for the role they were in. The hire was a result of asymmetrical information.
I have looked back on my own life at times when I made foolish mistakes due to my lack of information. Rash decisions that cost me time and money. How do we learn from them?
Here are a few ways I have dealt with this moving forward.
- Have trusted friends or mentors to bounce ideas off of.
- Take a day or two when making big decisions.
- Try to remove emotion from the decisions to ensure you’re not swayed.
These all may be basic (I am not as lofty as I would like), but they can make an impact for the positive.
Image credit: Steve Corey