Friday, January 2, 2015

What's Your Decision-Making Style?

Decisions always refer to the future and the future is always uncertain.

Decision making is both the art and science, it takes both analytics and intuition; philosophy and methodology, substance and style. In order to make the best decisions, it is better to have a mix of decision-making styles in the room. Can you spot the different types? Do you aim for a balanced representation of styles?

Making a decision is one of the most significant tasks for leaders and managers: Leadership is a difficult title to earn and even harder to retain, in part because there is no one right leadership style that works in every situation. The trick is to know your preferred, competent and inadequate styles, assess the current situation, and determine which one will be required. If you can, exercise it; if you do not have the capability, trust and delegate the responsibility.

Decision-makers decide matters in both strategic and tactical manner: Decision making in itself is a complex and simple process based on the probable effect of the decision on the outcome of the organizational goal. The decision-making style should be based on the situation: 1) the situation needs quick decision ("Timer") 2) in the case of having enough time: collect different opinions ("The Expressor"), 3) have an idea, but want to harmonize the group ("Harmonizer). The worst style is "Always decide quickly."

People with different personalities approach decision making in different ways. And some have difficulty making any decision at all, which of course is in and of itself a passive decision "not to decide." For example, there are those who solicit input from others and those who do not feel the need to do so. There are those who can instinctively jump to the answer and those who have to work a defined process in order to make a decision. Each theory categorizes these things differently but they all tend to address similar behavioral patterns.

Leveraging various factors and perspectives in decision making: Strategic decision making may mean that the decision arrived at is in the best interests of the entire team for the long haul rather than the immediate tactical expectation of those awaiting the outcome. Whatever people are "pre-programmed" to do at the instinctual level, you may be programmed to make a decision by first figuring out the appropriate process and then working the equation. Get others involved where they may be affected by the outcome, or where others should be involved in the decision because of ethics or corporate culture, So hopefully, you go about decision-making differently depending on various factors such as how critical the decision is, the impact of the decision on others, what will be involved in the execution after the decision and more.

Some thought and quotes across addressing decision making:

-Decisions are necessary as a result of limited resources in time, knowledge, capital, people,...

-Decisions always refer to the future.

-The future is always uncertain.

-Decisions are always characterized by a lack of information and knowledge.

-Prognoses are always difficult - in particular, those referring to the future

-The future is the most difficult problem of our era.

-The safest point in time for prognosis is shortly after the event (Churchill)

-The best way to predict the future is to invent it. (Kay)

-There will be a time when our offspring will be astonished at our lack of knowledge of such apparent issues.(Seneca)

-I was in search of a one-armed economist so that the guy could never make a statement and then say: on the other hand (Truman)

-All our finite decisions are taken in a very transient emotional stage. (Proust)

Due to the complexity, ambiguity, and un-predictivity of business dynamics, it is not possible to make effective decisions via pure gut feeling or ivory tower approach, the digital decision-making style is to think fast and slow, think independently and leverage multiple perspectives. analyze and synthesize for making the right decisions at the right time by the right people.


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