Thursday, 6 October 2011

Evidence and Logic in Decision-making

Many leaders rely on gut instinct to make important decisions, which often leads to poor results. On the contrary, when leaders insist on incorporating logic and evidence, and include others in the discussions, they make better choices and their organizations benefit. Here are three ways to introduce evidence-based decision-making into discussions in your school or organization:
  1. Ask for evidence. Whenever anyone makes a compelling claim, ask for supporting data. Don't take someone's word for it.  Equally, be sure to provide your evidence/data if you are promoting something.
  2. Examine logic. Look closely at the evidence and be sure the logic holds up. Be on the lookout for faulty cause-and-effect reasoning.  Invite colleagues to question the evidence and the logic.
  3. Encourage experimentation. If you don't have evidence, create some. Invite colleagues to conduct small experiments to test the viability of proposed strategies and use the resulting data to guide decisions.
Adapted from: Harvard Business Review on Making Smart Decisions.

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