The article "What Data Can't Do" by David Brooks is from the New York Times online
"Not long ago, I was at a dinner with the chief executive of a large bank. He had just had to decide whether to pull out of Italy, given the weak economy and the prospect of a future euro crisis.
The C.E.O. had his economists project out a series of downside scenarios and calculate what they would mean for his company. But, in the end, he made his decision on the basis of values.
His bank had been in Italy for decades. He didn’t want Italians to think of the company as a fair-weather friend. He didn’t want people inside the company thinking they would cut and run when times got hard. He decided to stay in Italy and ride out any potential crisis, even with the short-term costs.
He wasn’t oblivious to data in making this decision, but ultimately, he was guided by a different way of thinking. And, of course, he was right to be. Commerce depends on trust. Trust is reciprocity coated by emotion. People and companies that behave well in tough times earn affection and self-respect that is extremely valuable, even if it is hard to capture in data."
The remainder of the article can be found at:
photo of David Brooks is credited to Josh Haner/The New York Times