Why Peter Drucker Distrusted Facts

"Most books on decision-making tell the reader: First find the facts. But executives who make effective decisions know that one does not start with facts. One starts with opinions...The understanding that underlies the right decision grows out of the clash and conflict of divergent opinions and out of serious consideration of competing alternatives. To get the facts first is impossible. There are no facts unless one has a criterion of relevance." from Why Peter Drucker Distrusted Facts - Stephen Wunker - Harvard Business Review. So many product managers start with a blank slate but surely we should start with an idea, a strategy, and then seek facts to provide or disprove the theory. Jennifer Doctor has another view:
But, in the end, the main reason why our customers don’t fit is that we didn’t listen to them. We didn’t listen when they first described the problem they had. We didn’t listen when they explained how their internal processes worked. We didn’t listen when they requested more features to solve their problem, and then included that information in the contract. We didn’t listen to the problems that caused broken processes on their back end; rather we focused on how the product was originally designed to work. We didn’t listen. Read more in Customers: Bad to the Bone? | On Product Management.
Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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