We need to start asking, “What evidence do you base that assumption off of?”

Evidence based decision making…….it’s critical.

I can tell you that I am scared to death of making gut based decisions. You should be scared of your own gut as well.

We are in an era of data driven decision making and there are two types of organizations, ones who use data and make themselves better and those who trust the tried and true, and ultimately are hamstrung by it.

I am/was/don’t want to be, a Cincinnati Bengals fan. This organization historically has been mired in failure, and when things go really well they achieve mediocrity. Oft I have asked myself why this is, and along with many other knowing persons in the NFL, I attribute this to management style.

The Bengals are a family run business. They are an organization who greatly values their employees, loyalty, and profitablity. These are great attributes, but they have become an achilles heel as the landscape in which they sit has shifted. Gone are the organizations who have promoted from within, have handed out long term contracts, and don’t have advanced scouting and analytics teams. Well not exactly gone, there are a couple left the Bengals and Raiders.  I’ll let you guess how that franchise has performed since 1976.

Why do I make these comparisons? Well the Bengals, much like our community had a formula for success that allowed it to achieve a modicum of security. Unfortunately, as the landscape shifts and those around us adapt, we have seen our formula cease to work. This forces me to ask a routine question, what evidence am I using to base this decision.

  • We have to get better at using data to drive our decision making.
  • Land sale comparisons require data, not what I think is fair
  • I should build some office space, needs to be questioned by looking at the amount of office space that is currently vacant in the region.
  • This policy of creating a speed limit on the bike path will protect walkers on the path, needs to be vetted with best practice information from other communities who have similar multi use plans.

We can no longer afford to make decisions on our own intuition. Living in a region that is constrained in its leadership, resources, and capital mandates we be hyper-strategic and hyper-focused. Data won’t make every decision we make the right one, but it will give us a safety net when things ultimately fail and we wonder why. Having an evidence based decision process gives us the ability to document and correct.

Where can you input evidence into your decision making? What would it look like if you did? As we start 2019 I want all of our decisions to filter through the lens of evidenciary support not our own personal bias.