Triangulation is a geometric method of locating a point by first determining two angles on a fixed baseline. It is used in times of war to locate hidden radio transmitters, ships on the high seas or aiming an artillery piece.
In business, it is used in a different way—CEOs, for example, triangulate on employees or other sources of information to be sure that they are getting accurate information which is mission critical to any enterprise’s longevity and sustainability. CEOs know that direct reports often tell them what they think the CEO wants to hear instead of the unvarnished truth. That is a reason why many CEOs like to speak directly to customers and suppliers—they disintermediate everyone else.
“Tom Sanders (played by Michael Douglas in the 1994 film, Disclosure) is a manager at tech company, Digicom. He is told by ambitious executive Meredith Johnson (played by Demi Moore) that the drives they are working on are failing at an unacceptable rate due to Tom’s negligence (in software design). Only by triangulating on Meredith (by checking with two independent sources) does Tom discover the truth and save his career—that Meredith had authorized a cheaper solution (they are using a lower level clean room) which is actually causing tiny specs of dirt to foul operation of their new drives.”