Friday, February 26, 2016

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s “Decisiveness”

Decision power is knowledge-based, wisdom-driven, and character-oriented.

At today’s digital dynamic with increased velocity, complexity, unpredictability, there is a need for a faster response to changes in the business and industry based on effective and efficient decision making which is one of the most important tasks for both digital leaders and digital professionals at either strategic, operational, or tactical level. How is that possible? What’s the digital way to make the right decision? And how to assess a person’s “decisiveness”?

Do you have a decisive mindset with data enrichment and information empowerment? The decision-maker must have enough knowledge to make their decisions rich in information and significantly different from the available data. Decisions are based on information and generate information. The amount of data required for a decision, and the amount of information generated by a decision, can both be measured in bits & bytes. Thus, a decisive mindset is data enriched and information empowered. Just implementing an analytics tool is not going to result in improved decision making for an organization. The technology should be seen as an enabler and should form part of an analytics strategy, but not be its whole. Sometimes even an extremely analytical mind can be distorted by self-interest, emotional attachments, or misleading memories. Improved decision making will only come when insights from the analytics system are directly matched to improved decisions and better outcomes.

What’s your decision-making styles: 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: Are you a “timer” who can make an on-time, quick decisions? Or are you a “diplomat” who can collect different point of views and leverage them to make effective decisions? Etc. One of the prerequisites for decision making is to recognize your own frame of reference prior to making any decision. If you do not recognize the lens through which you make sense of the world around, you are unknowingly captive to your own predispositions. Achieving such awareness through serious self-reflection, frees you from the habituated 'scripts,' and allows you to see new possible options before decisions are made. Hence, collecting necessary information is an important step in making an objective decision. Decision power is a mind-power; it guides what to select from available choices, how to accommodate constraints, how to avoid distractions, and where to show firmness and flexibility. Decision power is knowledge-based, wisdom-driven, and character-oriented.

How well can you deal with the paradox of decision making? The paradox of decision is that sometimes you have to sacrifice to save and sometimes you have to disable one thing to enable another. Decision-making is an ability that is learned or unlearned and can swing both ways (making decisions or avoiding) depending mostly on upbringing and cultural circumstances. Often the decision-making challenges include: When are the options too close to each other in similarity? Is the outcome of each option either unclear or undesirable, etc.  Human knowledge is imperfect about multiple choices and the related outcomes. The Knowledge constraint is a paramount issue during the decision process. But decisions are needed at every moment of life; it cannot be postponed till the availability of complete knowledge. The deficiency of knowledge can only be overcome through decision power which is the mind power.

In the world of uncertainty, the decisive mind can, by definition, not control the outcome, however, focus on making good decisions and the best chance for a good outcome is to make a good decision. The biggest challenge is knowing what you don't know, it is a reasonable moniker for decision making blind spots and biases. Hence, good judgment is a must for good decisions, data analysis and inferences from such data. A good decision needs to use both intuitive thinking and rational analysis. A good decision maker is information-empowered, analytics oriented, who can strike the right balance between confidence and humility, logic and creativity; thinking big & thinking small; thinking fast & thinking slow, and often good decision makers are the great problem solver as well.


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