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The curious thing about making decisions

When we need to make an important decision, we tend, I hope, not to do so blind. We need to gather information, draw on experience, and make an informed choice from analysing what we know.

Yet, time and again, I see important, business changing, decisions being made using poor information, either because not enough effort was put into gathering it, or too much was put into gathering information that simply isn’t relevant. Sometimes that’s driven by an underlying presumption built on having made decisions that have worked out well in the past. Sometimes it is on the basis of a more irrational belief, or a desire, or hope. Sometimes it’s just a consequence of ignorance of what’s possible.

In general, we all need to be more curious about what is needed in making many of our major decisions. Curiosity about what could be a decision-making criterion. Curiosity about what is really relevant and why, curiosity too about what cannot be known, and what risks that ignorance brings. We need to curious about how we will tell, once we have the benefit of hindsight, whether the decision was in fact, a good one. Finally, we need curiosity about when measurement will be possible.

Are you curious enough?

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