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Are You Making Blameless, Data Driven Decisions?

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On this day of emotion & emotional decisions, this post is about not making decisions using emotions.

When I hear people use words like “could be” or “should be” I start to wonder if there’s enough data on the table to make a good decision. It’s true that sometimes you just don’t have the answer, so you have to ask more questions. How can we learn more to make this decision easier to make? How can we make this decision easier to change if we get it wrong?

Decisions made in the absence of data have another problem, the only collateral is personal responsibility. You are trusting someone’s gut, or someone’s experience, or someone’s opinion. When things don’t go right, you blame that someone.

If you are making a decision that is hard to change, it should be made when the and answer to questions are “it is…” or “it is not…”. You use those words because you have confidence you have tested & have data to back it up. You should be saying “We know” and not saying “We think”. Saying you know without data is just being dishonest. I don’t care if you’ve done this before, the people in the room have only your credibility to trust. Solutions don’t work in different environments for a variety of reasons, but if your credibility was the basis for a decision it will be the only thing that gets blamed.

Try to make decisions easy to change.

Try to make decisions based on fact, not opinion.

Try to make decisions that do not rely on your credibility.