Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Value or Bias behind Decision Making

The values are much like your core beliefs and your bias is like preference.

Business leaders and managers spend the significant time on making both strategy (long-term) and tactical or operational (mid or short term) decisions, and those decision effects will directly impact businesses’ top line growth and bottom line surviving. Some use gut feeling more often to make decisions, few are good at doing data-oriented decision making, in order to decide smartly, what’s your perspectives of value or bias behind decision making?

It's important to distinguish the difference between bias and values: Values inform bias. The values are much like your core beliefs and your bias is like preference. Value is rooted or shaped by years’ of educations, the culture, the growing environment, the medias or books you follow through, and value is multidimensional, there is economic value, social value, or customer  value, etc. You might be thinking on a deeper level, it takes a few decades to shape an individual or a generation's value which is also a cause or effect of business or societal culture. Values stand alone because they're elements that don't change a lot based on situations, where bias can change with a compelling case, to make better decisions, it is much easier to focus on managing bias rather than trying to eliminate it.

Keep the value set transparent: Each person approaches a decision with their own value set. A key goal is to make that value set transparent so, especially in group decisions, the bias is made explicit. The questions of the term "value set transparent" and how it ties to a goal: Would you consider that values are sometimes, if not often, the results of cognitive biases or perhaps even learned biases? Can values be independent?A great way to manage bias is to simply get it out in the open communication environment. In a collaborative decision, let individuals embrace their bias by sharing it with others in a non-threatening context. This can help to enable the "wisdom of crowds"  as a source of improved decision-making. Single dimensional value can lead bad decision, for example, when developing the strategic and market penetration plans, better see your value proposition from the eyes of the customers. The important gaps are perhaps that the companies project what they believe their customers see rather than what their customers actually see.

The advanced decision analytics can provide a visualized perspectives to enable more effective decisions: The thing however that the human brain cannot do, is to do a comparative assessment of many decision criteria - both quantitative and subjective, CONCURRENTLY ACROSS many options/initiatives/programs etc, but the advanced decision intelligence tools can help.  The technology never makes the decisions! What it does do is present and provide any number of perspectives of all elements and assessments comparatively so that informed discussion and debate can occur. It also reduces or removes 'the loudest voice' in the process.

Value is multi-dimensional and it takes the time to shape, and bias can be managed. Most important decisions are processes, not events and that sometimes biases based on experience actually lead to quick, effective decisions. Try to eliminate all biases and you are likely to reduce the use of heuristics, leading to analysis paralysis. From study, knowledge and information on the topic of decision bias do not help in the short to medium term. Extensive training given in technical areas in decision critical fields have shown an initial improvement in dealing with doggy heuristics and biases, but that tended to fall in a short period of time. A regular cognitive recalibration can be necessary, along with a fairly long coaching period for sustainable change for the better. So the key principles for making effective decisions are to keep the value set transparent, share and manage the bias with the whole groups, and enable the wisdom of the crowd.


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