I love this quote, but not for the reason you might think.
Some people look at the Deming quote and say "No way Philip. It's not just about the numbers. Some decisions require your gut and your instinct."
They are basically saying that "All data and no intuition make Jack a dull boy!"
The problem I see so often in my consulting work is entrepreneurs making assumptions and putting specific action plans in place… then failing to compare actual results against their original assumptions and goals.
They just assume their original assumptions were correct and that they just need to persistently work on executing the action plan.
Almost as if comparing the data, or the facts discovered after the plan has begun, is somehow an indictment of the wisdom of the original assumptions or the original action plan.
A Fast Feedback Loop
I believe in using intuition in the decision-making process. But that should be mixed with comparing actual financial results to the plan. It's a necessary part of testing our intuition and assumptions quickly so we get feedback about whether we are achieving the desired result.
That's a core principle that Lean Startup teaches.
(Speaking of Lean Startup, here's four fantastic books I have been reading recently on the Lean movement.)
The Lean principles apply to all businesses. Not just startups.
Get the Facts
It's all about continuous improvement… and comparing actual financial results to your original assumptions and plans.
Go out and get the data so you know if your plans are achieving the desired result.
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