Information alone isn’t enough, to execute is essential

Critical decision-makers tend to get swamped with calculations when they don’t get the result they desire as a consequence of the implementation of their premeditated decisions. The problem, however, isn’t about calculations to begin with.

Similarly, the collapse of the companies usually occurs as a result of the fact that executives board members choose not include certain important matters into their agenda. Top executives so blindly believe that the model they have established is so flawless that they think the only problem is human resources. In such places, the turnover rate is higher than the average for their industry.

As I have mentioned in my previous reports, models or organizations that produce authority and hierarchy do not stand a chance of achieving something in the 21st century because they fail to encourage their employees to take initiative. It’s not possible to expect institutions where there is plenty of planning but to only a little “experiencing” to take innovative steps. Models and approaches where low level employees are not allowed to criticize the executive team about the state of company affairs do not only hinder corporate development, but they also stand as an impediment towards the advancement and further invention of knowledge.

There’s one slide I frequently use in my presentations: It’s a quote from İdi Amin, a Ugandan military officer who served as the President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979.

“There is freedom of speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech…”

Regretfully, there are some companies in Turkey that follow in the footsteps in Idi Amin. Younger employees noticing the flaw cannot speak to their superiors about the things that are going wrong. After a few failed attempts at expressing their opinions and reactive behaviour, which can almost called “mobbing” from their superiors, they eventually give up, thinking about finding a new job. On the other hand, executives, as they have a blind faith in the correctness of the model, they blame the employees for failure and dismiss them from employment. As you know, once you’re fire, it’s not so easy to get hired again.

Stephen Hawking says “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up”. The corporate climate in Turkey sadly doesn’t provide such encouragement to younger employees. As Prof. Dr. Talat Çiftçi expresses in his recent book “Yaşamsal Satranç” (Chess of Life), Turkish education system raises “well-informed individuals, yet failing to train “individuals equipped with high skills and capabilities”. That’s why Turkey is full of institutions and organizations harbouring cold-blooded liars and loud talkers who are equipped with nothing but a slight amount of information, always trying to showing it off.

People always tend to resist new ideas as new ones would replace the old ones. For instance, at the beginning of the year, we have been discussing whether Turkish economy was in recession or not. The definition of recession is simple: experiencing a decline in GDP in at least two successive quarters. According to some economists, however, we should ignore the same period in the previous year; and get the GDP compared with the previous quarter using seasonal adjustments. This proposition may be a fun mind exercise in terms of satisfying our mathematical curiosity and setting forth some hypotheses, however, we would fail to achieve the accurate result without comparing similar periods.

This is just like comparing an era where people didn’t know how to grow tomatoes to an era where they did know how to grow tomatoes, as if you are saying, “If people did grow tomatoes, they grow 500 kg. e.g” or the opposite, “People did grow tomatoes but we better act like they have never did.” As I keep warning such experts who fall into the trap of statistics both from television and on social media, they keep objecting to me, claiming that this is the way how things work in the UK or in the Netherlands.

The reason why things are not going so well in Turkey is because we believe that past events are lying behind the present events. Although it may seem as the most reasonable thinking at first, it makes me wonder though: “Since present events are shaped or affected by past events, how far should we go back to find the root cause?”

“First, we need to set our minds free…”

I can imagine statisticians would typically say, “at least 10 years” for this suggestion of mine. No matter how good theories or hypotheses are, certain phenomena or certain developments cannot be reduced to one cause, especially in societies where human behaviour, politics and natural events do play a role in the combination of circumstances. Therefore, we can’t ignore the influence of casual factors of incidents. Besides, it’s not likely to remove the effect of randomness using mathematics alone. The fact that some seasonal developments last longer than expected can lead researcher to make mistakes; because, when we look back on it, we can realize that each and every statement can make itself verified by means of mathematics.

So, an economist must provide different solutions to possible different scenarios before making a final decision. Unfortunately, we experience difficulties generating new ideas while living in the midst of those who like to take reference from colleagues inhabiting developed countries on the both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Here’s one of many challenges scientists face during their whole lives. People who once objected the most to the “Whatever they do, it must be the right thing to do” mentality are now using it to prove themselves right. Everything I experienced during my academic career confirms the following statement:

“Although old and static ideas help many people stay inside their comfort zone, they actually stop scientific development.”

As a man who has recently turned 50, I have more life experience than that of those who are reading this book. That is why it is my intention to convey my experience to them so they can set their minds free. I surely admit that my experiences have changed shape and become more complex over time. Just like it’s hard to eliminate degenerated viruses, we should acknowledge the fact that the effect and cause relationships of inflation, unemployment and recession problems have similarly changed. We have left a legacy of complicated problems and outdated formula to the youth; this is why we have to try to help them as much as we can.

I never say, “When I was your age”. Today’s generation are struggling with much harder problems we have ever faced in the past. They are not as lucky as we were in terms education and freedoms. Today, we willingly hand our freedom over to the oppressor and instead choose a comfort zone where we keep living shackled in chains. However, more freedom means more solutions. As I have mentioned earlier, we love to raise well-informed individuals whereas we should make efforts to train capable human beings, thus encouraging only the boss to find the solution while the others answering the questions that are addressed to them.

This outdated approach both in politics and business naturally hinders capable people from providing lasting solutions. So, please don’t ask me, “Yes, you got it all figured out! But, where is the solution?” The solution is obvious: doing the exact opposite of what has been done so far. Republic of Turkey must restore its factory settings as quickly as possible. We should stop wondering about “why we fail?”, and start figuring out how the others succeeded. Questioning and researching are obviously unique to free minds.

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