Decisions are made with the help of information but can be negatively affected by the poor quality of information that we receive.
A small town church’s reverend was particular that people arrived on time, be it for church service or prayer meetings.
One such meeting was to be held in the veranda of the house of a church member, and he sent someone ahead of him to check if the seats were filled. The person went back to say that ten chairs were vacant. So the reverend waited a little longer before he decided to walk down the street, to the house.
Back at the house, people had already arrived but chose to sit inside and chat with the host till the reverend turned up. The host, aware of the reverend’s perspective on the matter requested everyone to be seated in the rows of chairs out in the veranda. All the seats were filled, but the reverend still didn't turn up. He had sent someone again to check if the seats were filled and the person reported that ten chairs were vacant and so the reverend waited.
It had turned out that no sooner than the seats were filled, an enthusiastic volunteer had taken ten more chairs and placed them behind the filled ones, in case more people arrived!
A case of decision-making based on limited information brings out the consequences.
If the reverend had received information on the number of seats that were filled, rather than how many were vacant, he would have decided to commence the program; the emissary created a communication gap when he returned with information not directly relevant to the decision, thereby affecting its outcome - a common mistake to avoid in our daily decision-making process at the workplace.