Wednesday, June 1, 2016

“Digital Valley” Book Tuning: How to Achieve Decision Making Excellence

At an individual level, the life is the consequence of a series of decision making.

Making decision is one of the most significant tasks for leaders, managers and digital professionals today. There are strategic decisions, operational decisions, and tactical decisions. The reason decision making is often a difficult task because it is contextual and situational, it takes a unique individual to understand a situation and relate it to the present. There are many variables in complex decision making, there are tradeoffs you have to leverage, and there is no magic formula to follow. So what are some effective decision-making mentalities, which tools should you apply, and what processes are necessary to achieve decision-making excellence?


Decision-making mentalities: We live in the world with the sea of information and unprecedented connectivity, making decisions are often complex thought processes which include multiple thinking and reasoning. Critical thinking is one of thoughtful ways to gain an in-depth understanding of the problems. It is about applying the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning to examine any preconceptual belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends. It also generally requires thinking ability to recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting complex problems, to gather sufficient and relevant  information, to recognize assumptions and values, to comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity for evaluating situations objectively, and making a judgment without bias. Systems thinking is another “healthy” and thoughtful decision-making mentality, it is the thought process to understand the interconnectivity between the parts and the whole, see the trees without missing the forest, and make sure the solution to a problem shouldn’t create a bigger problem as a side effect. Though sometimes it’s inevitable to make an “imperfect” decision, Systems Thinking makes you focus on the big picture without “getting lost” in trivial details. In addition, analytical thinking, synthesizing thinking, creative thinking, etc. are all necessary digital mentalities to improve decision-making effectiveness and achieve decision-making excellence.


Decision-making Tools: There are many decision-making frameworks or tools around, but they are not for their own sake, picking the right tools does improve decision efficiency. For example, SWOT is a popular tool for strategic decision making in the business because it’s simple to use and straightforward to achieve its goal. It helps an organization put a category (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to certain characteristics of the organization, giving them relevance in a strategy defining processes. So Applying SWOT for decision making is at least to some degree an analysis of their contextual system and, therefore, pertinent to systems thinking. Opportunities and threats cannot exist without a context of interactions, which constitutes an implicit system. An efficient tool enables framing the good questions to clarify problems, also provide the structure to answer it in a systematic manner.


Decision-making process: From an organizational and business optimization point of view - Process is the sequenced series of tasks, and decision-making process helps to streamline an optimal decision-making scenario. A sound process to frame decision is critical because part of the problem is in the framing. You need a sound process to frame the decision, spec out your options, weigh them appropriately with the right people, and actually make a decision.The importance of the process also becomes critical as decisions become more complex and involve more diverse stakeholders. From process management perspective, within the tasks associated with the element of the business decisions, information should be fluid in the sense that it is constantly added to or subtracted to dependent on the task.
-Identification of tasks.
-Understanding the tasks and how they should be sequenced.
-How to leverage information associated with tasks optimally to make effective decisions.


At an individual level, the life is the consequence of a series of decision making. At the organizational level, strategic decision making can leap or fall the business based on its effectiveness; and tactical decisions are also important for running a business on the daily basis. Either thinking fast or thinking slow, keep a healthy decision-making mentality, build a robust (not overly rigid) process, and pick efficient tools are all critical to achieving decision-making excellence.  

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