Today is different. A look at the numbers is not nearly as important as a deep look at the qualitative aspects related to your economic future. The declines faced in American finance and vital American manufacturing as well as small business is a direct result of an over-dependence on “the numbers” and why its time to look at what really makes businesses grow and profit. Qualitative factors that are not readily quantified make all the difference. The art in smart makes sense of the future.
If you are a scientist, people will assume you are smart. If you are an artist, people will assume you know nothing about science and probably are not very smart. This is not true but because science has delivered so much value over the last 50 years it has come to be a common belief. While there are plenty of “starving artists” you don’t hear the term “starving scientist” very often.
For over 50 years quantitative methods have been integral to economic success. Only an idiot would say “Don’t look at the numbers” when making a business decision. Not only look at them; model them, do sensitivity analysis with them, create algorithms and multi-factor models to predict what will happen if things change. Stress test the limits of the models so we can be sure we can achieve our objectives. Our global growth is now facing the “paralysis of analysis” and instinctively we are returning to a more qualitative perspective. And thats a good thing.