Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Participative Decision-Making

The characteristic of participative decision-making is to embrace the collective insight for achieving decision-making effectiveness and maturity.

Decision-making is both art and science. Having all the facts to make the best decision is a utopia we would all like. But in practice, each person has their own cognitive strength, knowledge limitation, background, or experience. So besides independent thinking and structural decision-making scenario, we should always collect feedback and involve the right people for getting complementary insight in making better decisions. Technically, it is about leveraging participative decision-making style for improving decision-making effectiveness and maturity.





Including the right people in the right roles can help shape ideas faster and make better decisions: Because we all filter information differently based on our experiences, sharing knowledge and ideas gives depth and shapes a well-rounded concept, and help each other to capture insight from different angles. Communicating and actively listening to one another also creates excitement which propels good ideas to be formed or the great decision insight could be captured. The trick is selecting the right audience; one that will listen appropriately, provide unique feedback, constructively challenge your thinking, stimulate you to seek better answers. It is more effective to have a decision process that enables all those feedback to relate to a structure of meaning. The whole point is that all the information are a response to the focus of the inquiry and thus must form part of the decision-making.

Communicating to others raises the total cognitive threshold to fill decision-making blind spots: Each of us has a defined cognitive threshold - an upper limit to the level of complexity that we can handle at any one time or on any one topic. Communicating to others raises your total cognitive threshold. Participating decision-making is about having conversations with others about the issues and such idea sharing significantly raises the total cognitive threshold available to analyze the situation and clarify the problems. It also allows new pieces of information to be synthesized to generate new knowledge and fresh insight for filling blind spots in making effective decisions. Communicating, clarifying, building on each other's ideas, discovering and questioning, all of which enriches the thinking and contributes to a fabulously rich output.

Participative decision-making can also help to remove decision-making bottleneck via leveraging expansive thinking via cross-functional communication and collaboration: It’s about co-creating knowledge, sparking possibilities that happen in conversations of purpose and trust - conversations that are relevant, without fear of judgment, allow for expansive thinking, value the teamwork and discover nuances and unexpected relationships, and so on. It is important to surround yourself with others who complement your strength and knowledge in order to understand the “two side of the story” either for decision-making or problem-solving. To use the diversity of ideas as a rich source of connectivity and relationship, to harness all the spontaneity of interaction the group is capable of and provoke breakthrough thinking to arrive at creative outcomes that would be otherwise very unlikely.

The businesses and the world become more complex, uncertain, so decision-making also becomes more complex. Critical thinking, creative thinking, and independent thinking are always crucial, the characteristic of participative decision-making is to embrace the collective insight for either problem framing or information collection and clarification, enhancing communication and harnessing collaboration, with the goal to make effective decisions and improve decision-making maturity,  






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