Friday, April 13, 2018

Decision versus Outcome

A black-and-white shot of people sitting on stools at a long table

[Photo by Samuel Zeller at Unsplash]

I often hear people say "It was a mistake" when referring to a decision that resulted in a bad outcome.

What they might want to consider is that not every bad outcome means that the initial decision was a mistake. We make decisions based upon the available information and a reasonable analysis. Both of those have limitations. Just as a good decision doesn't guarantee a favorable outcome so too a bad outcome does not mean that the decision was poor.

What particularly worries me is that if good decisions are regarded as mistakes, then in the future the bar will be raised to an impossible level, producing inaction when action is sorely needed.

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