As we were identifying and discussing our core values at Optimetra, it became very apparent that judgment would make or break any of the others. Curiosity without good judgment can be a waste of a client’s time and money. Passion without good judgment can come across as dogma or perseverating. Impact without good judgment can, well…leave a mark (and not in a good way). In understanding that, we dubbed Judgment the crown jewel of our values. We never compromise on it when hiring employees or retaining consultants. Nor do we compromise on it when deciding whether to work with a client. Quite simply, if a client’s judgment seems poor, we pass.
The success or failure of organizations depends on the decision-making of leaders. However, poor decisions are not always the result of poor judgment. Everyone makes a poor decision from time to time. Judgment determines our willingness to evaluate our decisions and change direction when necessary. A poor decision is only compounded by an unwillingness to admit that it was a poor decision. Lululemon founder, Chip Wilson, is a recent and relevant example. It began long ago with rumors about why Mr. Wilson named his yoga wear empire Lululemon. It escalated last Summer (2013) in what was deemed by the media a “see-through yoga pant scandal.” Instead of professionally acknowledging the problem and fixing it, Chip made it worse by blaming larger women for the problem. The scandal will now be forever known as the “fat-shaming, see-through yoga pant scandal.” Chip has FINALLY stepped down, and I have to imagine that what’s left of his PR staff breathed a collective sigh of relief. If his judgment in this situation was any indication of his overall leadership, the company’s future was certainly bleak.
The only substitute for good judgment is duct tape, and here at Optimetra, we’d rather spend our money on talent than on duct tape, any day.