Re: Emergent Learning LO2110
Fri, 14 Jul 95 10:23:29 -0700

Replying to LO2072 --

"Fleece fondling," as Michael colorfully puts it, comes in different
flavors. When I was controller of a manufacturing division, I routinely
would give various financial reports to the division general manager.
These reports were, of course, mostly generated by some computer-based
information system or personal computer spreadsheet.

Whenever, this GM got a report for the first time, and then occasionally
thereafter, he insisted on manually reconstructing the report himself. In
this way, he "fondled" the data and the data-digestion process and gained
a real "feel" (i.e., tacit understanding) for what the numbers represented
and for the reality that the report symbolized. We were pretty good at
avoiding outright arithmetic mistakes, but I hate to admit the number of
times he found significant logical "misrepresentations." I, quickly,
learned to do this myself and, therefore, became a much better advisor to
the GM and his staff, but even so, his "fondling" always brought out some
important insight that came from his unique experience and viewpoint.

Joe Podolsky