Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Analyzing Wins

Book report time!  This time around, I'm talking about Loonshots by Safi Bahcall.  It's a fascinating book about crazy ideas and big risks and how to help them succeed.  Well, I'm not actually done with the book so I want to talk about one point the author made that blew me away.
Failing to analyze wins can reinforce a bad process or strategy. You might not get lucky next time.
Wow! How many people ever do this? Most of the time we take the win and move along.  But did you win because you out preformed the opponent or did you win because you caught some lucky breaks?

When we fail, we are often good at trying to figure out why.  If you host an event and people don't come, you try to think about why that is.  Maybe you didn't advertise properly. Maybe there was another event that night that held a larger appeal.  Maybe your event publicity didn't reach your target audience.  And on and on.

If we host an event and lots of people come, do we stop and think about why?  Did you pick a date and time that really works for your audience? Did you partner with another group that helped your reach your target audience? Did you happen to draw in random people who didn't see any of your publicity?

Of course, no one wants to be a Debbie Downer after a great event.  And you don't want to demoralize people by saying "things went well because we got lucky, not because you did your job well."

Perhaps the best course of action is to enjoy your success for a few days.  Then, before a week passes, have a meeting to ask:

  • what went well?
  • where did we get lucky?
  • what do we want to do the same next time?
  • what do we want to change next time?
  • were the attendees really the people we were going for?  
  • if not, how can we continue to reach out to our target?
Like most things in life, balance is key.  Celebrate and enjoy success but also be honest about why you were successful! 

No comments :