Evidence Soup
How to find, use, and explain evidence.

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Monday, 14 May 2018

Building a repeatable, evidence-based decision process.

Decision-making matrix by Tomasz Tunguz
How we decide is no less important than the evidence we use to decide. People are recognizing this and creating innovative ways to blend what, why, and how into decision processes.

1. Quality decision process → Predictable outcomes
After the Golden Rule, perhaps the most important management lesson is learning to evaluate the quality of a decision process separately from the outcome. Tomasz Tunguz (@ttunguz) reminds us in a great post about Annie Duke, a professional poker player: “Don’t be so hard on yourself when things go badly and don’t be so proud of yourself when they go well.... The wisdom in Duke’s advice is to focus on the process, because eventually the right process will lead to great outcomes.”

Example of a misguided “I'm feeling lucky” response: Running a crummy oil company, and thinking you‘re a genius even though profits arise from unexpected, $80/barrel prices.

2. Reinvent the meeting → Better decisions
Step back and examine your meeting style. Are you giving all the evidence a voice, or relying on the same old presentation theater? Kahlil Smith writes in strategy+business (@stratandbiz) “If I catch myself agreeing with everything a dominant, charismatic person is saying in a meeting, then I will privately ask a third person (not the presenter or the loudest person) to repeat the information, shortly after the meeting, to see if I still agree.” Other techniques include submitting ideas anonymously, considering multiple solutions and scenarios, and a decision pre-mortem with a diverse group of thinkers. More in Why Our Brains Fall for False Expertise, and How to Stop It.

3. How to Teach and Apply Evidence-Based Management. The Center for Evidence-Based Management (CEBMa) Annual Meeting is scheduled for August 9 in Chicago. There's no fee to attend.

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