I just read a post about President Bush’s approval rating vs. the number of American deaths in Iraq vs. the price of gasoline. The blogger mentioned that most people would like to say that President Bush’s approval rating is inversely related to American deaths in Iraq, but the data show that is not true. Mr. President’s approval rating is more affected by the price of gasoline than by the number of American deaths in Iraq.
Should that concern us? It seems pretty intuitive to me. I think that people respond more to what is affecting their lives on a daily basis than on something that they read in the paper, but never really encounter. The average American does not know anyone who has died serving our country in Iraq. The average American does, however, feel very strongly that gasoline prices are too high. When we are managers in the future, we should be sensitive to this phenomenon. We need to understand that people respond more emotionally to the things that affect their day-to-day lives. If we are going to make changes to compensation, structure, vendors, or benefits, we can expect the people at the office to FLIP OUT. Very few people will immediately and quietly accept changes to their daily routines.