William Liao

July 5, 2021

How do you know?

If you’re not specific about the parameters for assessing the work, you run the risk of you and your team being able to generating false assessments about it:

The biggest warning sign that such an assessment is being created are two words: “I think”

“I think we’re headed in the right direction.” 

“I think the solution is working.”

“I think people like the product.” 

While I think is well-intended, it can often lead to an unhealthy form of optimism — the kind that relies exclusively on the opinions of others. 

More prudent questions to ask would be: 

“How do we know we’re headed in the right direction?”

“How do we know the solution is working?”

“How do we know people like the product.” 

Peter Drucker famously said “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” 

Consider this important addendum: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t know.” 

The more specific you and your team can be about how you’ll know any aspect of your work, the harder it is to generate illusions about it. The more likely your team will know what’s going on, the more likely your team will be able to improve the work and create the outcomes you seek to create.