Want to Grow Your Business? Tie Decisions to the Evidence in Sales and Marketing

I ran across a classic article a couple days ago that should be required reading for executives trying grow their business more confidently and predictably. It was written in 1993 by Myron Tribus, who was head of MIT’s Center for Advanced Engineering Study at the time Deming’s (also classic) “Out of the Crisis” was published (in 1982).  The central idea is that organizations are far more successful if their executives understand how to trace their decisions to evidence and data (especially in sales and marketing-MW).

The article compares the operating system of a computer (which enables the structures and sequences for accomplishing tasks) to the management practices of a company that are the standard thought and decision making structures and sequences for accomplishing tasks within the company.  He refers to this as the Brain Operating System, or BOS.  

Just as operating systems are improved, from DOS to Windows (the references are obviously dated to that era), so management operating systems can be improved and this likewise can create important benefits.  From this perspective, he provides an excellent overview of Deming’s approach to management.

This enables him to point out the ways in which it is a definite upgrade from traditional (management by objectives, command and control) approaches applied by most companies.  The article does a great job of illustrating how Deming’s Theory of Profound Knowledge enables the organization to tie evidence and data to management decisions far more effectively than is usually the case.

In a world where most managers have never even heard of the idea of a management system, this article does a great job of illustrating a variety of assumptions that prevent them – and the people who work for them – from figuring out what customers want, and giving it to them.  

I hope you enjoy it!

Michael Webb

Michael Webb founded Sales Performance Consultants to create a data-driven alternative to the slogans and shallow impact offered by typical sales training, sales consulting, and CRM companies. Michael helped organize and delivered the keynote speeches for the first conferences ever held on applying Six Sigma to marketing and sales. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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Jeff Cutuli - September 18, 2013 Reply

I always appreciate your thought provoking articles. Here’s the link to Tribus’ 1993 article “Updating BOS”


    Michael Webb - September 20, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Jeff. There is more to come. Someone said “the only thing that stands in the way of improving is how we think,” and this whole issue of how managers think is central to everything in sales and marketing.


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