Eric J. McNulty, Director of research at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, has written a highly useful blog post for Strategy+Business. He examines outcome bias and how to overcome it. Outcome bias, put simply, is the tendency to evaluate a decision (or set of decisions) simply based on the result. In other words, if the outcome is positive, people assume that good decisions were made, and that an effective decision-making process was employed. If the results are less than desirable, people presume that the parties involved made faulty decisions and engaged in a flawed decision process. Of course, that need not be the case. We sometimes achieve great results despite some poor choices and a flawed process. Similarly, we sometimes experience poor outcomes despite having made sound decisions. How do we overcome outcome bias? McNulty has a simple question that should be considered when great results are achieved: Were we smart and capable or were we simply lucky? By asking about the role of luck, we get people to consider the role of external and/or uncontrollable factors that may have contributed to our success. It causes us to look beyond ourselves and to look beyond the simple explanation that our wonderful capabilities led to success.