David Amerland
David Amerland keynote at Executive Club Milan, 2018

Data, Empathy and Decision Making

Every talk I give is a conduit of information. While I am called upon to deliver insights in particular things it also becomes an opportunity through which I see how various countries and industries respond to the changing business landscape.

The Executive Club meeting in Milan, at Clubhouse Brera was just such an opportunity. Organized by Business International the event brought leaders together from the worlds of banking, finance, manufacturing and entrepreneurship.

Good decision making is key to achieving positive outcomes. In business, right now, there has never been a greater need for positive results. The paradox here is that decision making is emotional and every decision we have to make is distilled by the twin filters of uncertainty and fear.

How to get past all this and arrive at a place where decision making is a more emotionally regulated, balanced affair becomes the province of personal motivation which then guides intent. My role was to help the participants understand the alignment that occurs between motivation, intent and capability and then find ways to apply that in their own challenging business environment.

Drawing from direct examples taken from The Sniper Mind I challenged assumptions about what is possible, what is feasible and what can then become a desirable path of action. The true value however came from the interactive audience and their questions.

Business is changing rapidly. Technology has completely transformed the way we access, assess and then use data which means the information we have about the world is itself different. When every decision we make revolves around our perception of what is real and what is happening our ability to use data correctly relies on the training we have given ourselves to handle the uncertainty that comes with it.

Local TV was there to cover the event:

David Amerland Business International Executive Club Milano


Questions And Answers

As expected there were questions throughout the session. And there was a specific segment allocated to answering at the end as well. In their corpus, the questions were revealing because they focused around:

  • Empathy
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Moral decision making
  • Trust and relationship building
  • Focus on the human aspect of business


In some ways, this is not new. A different type of conference with a much broader demographic delivered similar findings for similar reasons. We are at the point now where data moves us precisely because we have so much of it. By eroding the artificial value created by scarcity data we are at the point where its organization, filtering, structure and usage create the information we need to make the decisions necessary.

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