Can You Live by the Jeff Bezos 70 Percent Rule?

Can You Live by the Jeff Bezos 70 Percent Rule?

I recently wrote a post on decision making. It focused on what is the one thing that every growth company must do to sustain a competitive edge in today’s recovering economy. The answer? Make great decisions. 

And if you are a follower of the Carter Reports, you know I always look for alternative points of view – different perspectives.  In this vein, I came across a recent Inc. article on the Jeff Bezos 70% rule – a guide to making business decisions.

There is always the yin and the yang of decision making.  If your move is too swift, it often hurts your company.  If you are too slow you may fail.  So which is it?  Fast for advantage or slow to “be sure?”

The 70% Rule

Jeff Bezos follows a rule that addresses that problem.

He states that while it’s nice to have access to all of the information you may want, in most cases, waiting until you know everything you should know is a problem.

Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70 percent of the information you wish you had, Bezos contends. If you wait for 90 percent, in most cases, you’re probably being slow.

Is this a framework that you should adopt?

But how do you know you have 70 percent of the information?

Richard Branson says that “making a good informed decision is not that different to sitting on a jury – all reasonable doubt has to be removed before you can pass a verdict one way or the other.”  So is that the 70%?

Your time and experience play a key role on when to move and when to wait. Consider knowing 70 percent of the information on hand when you talk to team members and advisers.

Have you analyzed an opportunity and digested the impact (both good and bad) a decision could have on your business? If you know with absolutely certainty it’s the right decision, you’re probably too late.

Branson noted “There is really no science to getting it right every time which is why (unfortunately) decision-making is not a process that can be programmed to come in ‘just in time’ across the board.”

Making sound decisions is critical to running a business, but so is knowing how to make a decision. Are you a 70%er?   Contact me to discuss applying the 70% rule in your business.

All the Best

© 2021 David Paul Carter. All rights reserved.

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