"We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery."
H.G. Wells

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At a recent conference at which I was speaking I had the pleasure of hearing Terry O'Reilly, the famous Canadian advertising guru. O'Reilly, known by many as the brains behind the CBC Radio show The Age of Persuasion, gave out three stats that stuck with me:

There are 7.3 million web pages added to the internet every day; 4.5 blogs added every minute and 31 billion searches on Google every month, (20% of those have never been searched before.)

That is a lot of data. Ironically, many of us in management and leadership roles, recognize that we more often than not, think we don't have enough data to make a particular decision, and therefore live by the 80/20 rule; that a bias to action demands that we make the decision once we surmise we have 80% of the data we need.

There are though risks in using that rule. We can exclude stakeholders inadvertantly, we can miss important risks/opportunities, and we can damage our own credibility. To manage these risks, perhaps there are three guiding principles:

1. Keep a "chair for Elijah." In Judaism there is a long tradition that there be a chair held for the prophet Elijah. This model can remind all of us around the board or management table that there are missing voices in our decision making. By recognizing that gap, we are more likley to proceed with a certain respect and risk mitigation in place.

2. Again from Judaism, hear from the junior people first. In Jewish legal judgements the most junior judges give their opinion first, so that they are not swayed by their elders. In team and board decisions, hear from the less experienced members first, you'll often find new and innovative perspectives on the data you have.

3.  Build your wisdom, use debriefings as learning labs for yourself and your team: what did we learn? How can we apply these learnings in similar situations, and recognize that mistakes are opportunities to learn.

My hope for us all this week is that we make the best decisions we can, and keep learning everyday.