Some but not all people, distinguish carefully between facts and opinions; for these people there is a time to understand and a time to make a form an opinion.
For other people, stakes (opinions) are put in the ground after which appropriate facts are sought out to support the opinion. For such people, all the facts, or the wrong facts, are plain damaging, because truth is not what the facts are, but what they should be. (This was very common in Communist art).
And for some people, facts are lies, because the facts display what Marx called a false consciousness, meaning that people perceive what they should not be perceiving.
In global organizations one can often find people from various cultural backgrounds who view opinions and facts very differently.
- Einat from Israel changes her strongly held opinions many times in a discussion and finally, she agrees on the facts.
- Nick from the US, believes that facts come before opinions, the former being the basis of the latter.
- Hans from Munich believes that a grasp of the facts, and all of them, serve the basis for making rational choices, rather than personal opinions.
- Wong from Beijing believes that selective facts and opinions must serve his bosses’ goals.
- Sergei from Moscow believes that facts and opinions are very often manipulated to serve deep rooted interests, and that it is critical to understand what these interests are and act accordingly. For Sergei, initial facts and opinions are both raw intelligence data.
- For Som from Bangkok, facts which may embarrass anyone are not real facts; they need to be distorted to maintain a feeling of positiveness and comfort, which serve the ultimate truth of avoiding shame at all costs.
In global organizations, these differences need to factored into so called models of problem solving.