What do most people do when they are struggling with a problem or situation? They talk with those they are closest to and who they think are the smartest people they know. I have often done this for years while running my business. The problem with this approach to problem-solving is at the heart of why subjective data is so unreliable. 

Talk to five trusted advisors about a specific situation and you’re likely to receive at least three points of view. If the five people all know you very well, it’s also likely they have thoughts and feelings about you as a person and possibly as a leader, so it’s a comfortable context for them to offer you advice that skews what they think you need to know and learn. Unfortunately, this often has little to nothing to do with what you are struggling with and does not bring you closer to a high-quality decision. Quite the opposite, it can easily leave you more confused than you were before you solicited advice!

Objective data values are found outside a set of associates and friends that are not dependent upon particular preset perceptions or beliefs. Objective data is never influenced by opinion or a specific person’s perspectives of others. This is why objective data is gathered in an organizational structure that requires each participant to go through the same set of questions or tasks or a combination thereof that gives you more reliable and consistent data.

To deal effectively with uncertainty and downstream variables and risks, you need to apply more than common sense decision-making because it’s too simple. It doesn’t take into account anywhere enough facts and variables within the circumstances. The world is moving at such a fast pace. It is therefore far more complicated than yesteryear now that data-driven thinking is the only way to form effective risk-informed decision-making. Big decisions need to include everyone when the decision-making is going to become a normal workflow. This is why including everyone within the context of objective data evaluation is essential. It’s also why, sadly, why so many organizations fail when they do not include all of their people in the most critical decisions.