People have a terrible tendency of judging a decision by its outcome. That's a huge mistake.
So few people understand probabilities. All decisions have a chance of a poor outcome. Outcomes are always uncontrollable. A great outcome does not validate the decision.
That's like saying your child walking across a highway full of cars to get to the other side made a sound decision because he made it. No it wasn't.
Focus on the decision making process no matter what the outcome was. That means you need to periodically sit down with each of your key employees and have them explain how they arrived at various decisions they've made during the past week or two. This is extremely important to do with salesmen, estimators, superintendents and foremen.
A Quick Recap
- You need your employees to make the decisions you would if you were in their shoes.
- Make sure they have access to all the information they need to make a good decision.
- Align motivations and incentives.
- Coach them on how to make good decisions.
- Don't create an atmosphere of fear.
- Focus on the process, not the outcome.
If you manage to adhere to these six principles you will see a significant improvement in your employees' decision making and in your bottom line.