Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
Post hoc ergo propter hoc - “after this, therefore because of this”
This is the fancy latin name for a very common logical fallacy (i.e. weak thinking) which occurs so often in business it’s amazing. CEOs and politicians even do it quite deliberately.
For example, CEOs are quick to claim victory when their companies grow after their appointment. The CEO is appointed. The company grows; so it follows that the CEO caused the growth. The CEO may have caused the growth, the CEO may not have, however assuming that just because the second event follows the first does not mean the second was caused by the first. This is the logical fallacy of “post hoc ergo propter hoc”.
This leads to many examples of weak management and weak thinking.
Consider another example: A sales director has a conversation with her sales manager to give the “hard word” on the lack of sales. Shortly after the sales manager reports a big sale. The sales director, then says to herself that the “tough line” was the right approach, just look at the results. In reality the sales manager had been working on the sale for some time and it was going to happen independently of any action by the sales director.
To avoid the this fallacy, always look for the cause. When we stop those actions which are not linked to results, we free ourselves to focus on those things that really make a difference.
Btw the opening quote? “Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound” - with thanks to Handy Latin Phrases.