Why every company should have a vice president of common sense

Photo Common sense

The major American sports leagues have an annual turn-over of several billion dollars. The individual clubs are multi-million dollar companies with a president, board members and a classic American corporate structure. But if you believe the journalist  Colin Cowherd, a position is usually vacant. There is no “Vice President of Common Sense”.

A position that should exist in every company.

The major American sports leagues have an annual turn-over of several billion dollars. The individual clubs are multi-million dollar companies with a president, board members and a classic American corporate structure. But if you believe the journalist  Colin Cowherd, a position is usually vacant. There is no “Vice President of Common Sense”.

A position that should exist in every company.

Background

A few weeks ago I watched a  program by the American sports presenter Colin Cowherd, in which he called for the appointment of a  “Vice President of Common Sense”  for every major sports club, in order , to avoid repeating the  million Dollar  mistakes of recent years.

He mentioned several reasons for such wrong decisions in his program.

  • Organizations tend to overestimate the abilities of their staff.
  • In many cases decisions are negatively influenced by relationships and dependencies within the company.
  • Decision makers are often too personally involved and unable to take emotions out of the decision-making process.
  • Companies in highly competitive markets are even more inclined to take risks.

The “Vice President of Common Sense” could take these influencing factors out of the game in one fell swoop.

If a decision does not make any make sense, he will reject it. If a contract is simply too expensive, the player will not be taken. Even if they are brilliant but impossible to get on with, they will not be brought into the team. Long live  common sense.

Large IT projects have the same influencing factors as described above: time and financial expenditure are often underestimated and one’s own skills overestimated.. All project participants – from the simple employee to the project manager, or to the owner, customer or supplier – all pursue different interests. They are personally or financially involved and therefore biased. Dependencies and commitments do not make things easier. And the higher the pressure, the greater the willingness to take risks. How often do you hear the sentence: “Now we can no longer stop the project”.

This is where the “Vice President of Common Sense” comes in.

Vice President of Common Sense

The “Vice President of Common Sense” is not directly involved in the project work nor is he dependent on the result, he is at a distance from day-to-day business and is therefore not compromised by relationships or dependencies.

He should already be involved at the start, and can reject a project or stop at any time in the course of its running. He always reminds the project team to concentrate on the essentials. But  the “Vice President of Common Sense” is only actually committed to common sense.

Since projects and decisions in the IT environment are sometimes very complex and difficult to understand for outsiders, “the man in Ohio” (Cowherd) or the mother-in-law are of course rarely considered for this position, that means that it may be difficult to fill such a post.
The “Vice President of Common Sense” should have a proper degree of technical know-how and project experience, and should also have healthy portions of self-confidence, assertiveness and stress resistance. An interest in projects, processes and organization beyond just one area of expertise would also be advantagous.

In short, the Vice President of Common Sense should be highly qualified and interested. A staff member that everyone would like to have. Ein Mitarbeiter, wie ihn jeder gerne hätte.

Thanks to Colin Cowherd!

You can find the  video to this article here:  
https://youtu.be/LC1JELyn86c.

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