Sometimes, to make a point, I like to make a bold statement that on its surface seems controversial, foolish or nonsensical. The intent is to cause people to pause and think.
I often say “I never make a mistake”—then I follow up with the qualification, “but given additional information, I will often make a new decision.”
The point is that when new relevant information is brought forward, we shouldn’t feel we are changing our mind, flip-flopping or being inconsistent. Rather, that we are open to new insight that will allow us to make better, more informed decisions.
One of the greatest failures of a leader is to stay a course, when in the face of new information it is clear that the original decision is no longer sound. Or not consider new information, because a decision is already made.
Change doesn’t mean that the original decision was poorly made, or ill-considered—it means that new insight has enhanced our ability to make the right decision.
My Perspective: To be clear, this is not an excuse to make poor or hasty decisions with the justification that you can always change your mind later. We are often required to make decisions before we have all the information we would like. Not taking the appropriate time to gather all available information is simply lazy and doesn’t belong in any decision-making process.
But when new information is brought forward that clarifies the decision, don’t be lured into the trap of feeling that making a “new decision” will be seen as a sign of weakness or poor decision-making.