Jim's Blog

My Federal Testimony on Evidence-based Policymaking

March 2017

In 2000, as a doctoral student at the University of Southern California, I conducted what was then considered by many to be groundbreaking research on the topic of executive overconfidence. That research was an essential element in the formation of Proofpoint.net and our initial analysis applications.

In my research I noted that all leaders face problems of choice that, following a definition by Mary Lippitt, combine information, intuition, and influence. I also suggested that the best we can hope for is limited rationality since people work with incomplete knowledge. Without reliable information personal bias and excessive influence tend to cloud the weighting of alternatives.

So, to help protect people during decision making and increase rationality, relevant evidence is essential; the result being a fuller appreciation of the choices and reduced bias.

On February 9, I had the honor of sharing my perspectives on the practical benefits of evidence as one of just two private sector leaders invited to testify to the Federal Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking.

The audio of my 7-minute opening statement is here:

If you have an interest in getting leaders the best possible information, I hope you’ll take a listen.

Enjoy! Jim

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