In a world of 100% certainty, making decisions is simple: list the pros, the cons, and total up your columns. If the pros outweigh the cons, move forward. If not, don’t.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of business decisions are full of considerable uncertainty and situational factors. There is no sure thing, and waiting for more information might seem like a good idea, but oftentimes waiting to get more information is extremely costly in terms of time and money. And if you’re in a high-growth company, this is even harder.
In these situations, where uncertainty and variability thrive, decisions and outcomes can be more loosely correlated. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t.
The problem is, people will often assign more meaning to outcomes then they should. And the result of this association impacts their confidence (both good and bad) and skews their future decision-making process.
In some cases, people make a bad decision, but get lucky with the outcome. This gives them positive feedback (erroneously) and increases the chances they make a similarly bad decisions in the future. A little positive feedback for a bad decision can go a long way in rooting a destructive cycle.
In other cases, people make a good decision, but Murphy’s Law strikes and they end up with a bad outcome. Still licking their wounds, they tend to play it too safe in the future.
In my video, I give some examples of how outcomes work when variability is high using bets with dice roles.
Or, you can read my article on Inc.com which you can find here:
Effective leaders have developed the skill and insight to know the difference between good and bad outcomes. They know when they screwed up and when they had a bad role of the dice, or when they got lucky with an outcome but shouldn’t take that path again.
Not sure how to figure this out? One of the best ways to uncover these situations is through a retrospective. I’ve written a lot about those. Here are a few links.
And if you’re looking for help, check out my work as a facilitator of retrospectives…
And if you have a specific challenge or decision you’re trying to make, reach out and let’s talk about it.
Bruce “Beat The Odds” Eckfeldt
P.S. Whenever you’re ready... here are three ways I can help you grow your business faster, and with less drama:
1. Take the Growth Readiness Assessment
Download the 24 questions, send me the results, and set up a free one-on-one call to review the results and identify where you can accelerate your growth with the right focus. - CLICK HERE
2. Check out my Leadership Team Intensive
Every team can get into a rut—leadership teams are no exception. My half-day intensive helps the top team take a step back and see what’s working, what’s not, where they can develop new, better habits, and where they can break old ones that aren’t working. It’s like a B12 booster for your entire company. - CLICK HERE
3. Let me facilitate your next annual or quarterly planning meeting
Want to kick your planning sessions up a notch? Have me come in and we’ll work together on your annual or quarterly plan. Set goals that will really drive strategy, and create an action plan that will make sure everyone has clear accountability for results. - CLICK HERE