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Nate’s Notes 80: Batia Wiesenfeld | Explain Why

By July 17, 2023No Comments

Batia Wiesenfeld

Professor at the NYU Stern School of Business

Summit Q&A: Management Expert Batia Wiesenfeld On Adaptive Thinking

I love the lessons Batia shared today.

First, whenever we make a request of someone, explain why we’re making the request. It signals respect, it helps them feel like we’re being fair, it empowers them to make an even better decision potentially, it gives them meaning, and above all, it makes them more likely to carry out our request. We might feel like it diminishes our status or power if we have to explain the why. But the opposite is true. And I love the study Batia shared about subway riders in New York. Ask them to get up, and they won’t. Ask them to get up because we want to sit down, and many more will.

Second, rather than focus on fair outcomes, focus on a fair process. If we use a fair process, people will tend to accept our decisions, even if it cuts against their favor. And fortunately, following a fair process will most likely lead to fair outcomes.

In summary, explain why and focus on fair process over fair outcomes. Both simple ideas. Please take them seriously.

Batia Wiesenfeld Bio:

Batia Wiesenfeld is a Professor of Management at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She’s an expert on managing organizational change, and she studies how technology changes the future of work and organizations. Batia earned her undergraduate degree in Economics and Sociology from Columbia College and her Ph.D., in Management and Organizational Behavior from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. I hope you enjoyed learning from Batia Wiesenfeld today, because I always do.

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