Decision Master

Decision making is an art only until the person understands the science.

Both businesses and the world become over-complex, hyper-connected, extremely uncertain and ambiguous than ever, making effective decisions is both art and science. There are blind spots block the vision and there are pitfalls on the way. Decision Masters refer to the digital leaders or professionals who can leverage multidimensional thought processes, information and intuition, take a step-wise scenario for making effective decisions consistently. Decision Masters also refer to the businesses or organizations that follow a set of well-defined principles, leverage fine-tuned decision processes, efficient information management system, decision frameworks, tools, and metrics to enable people across the organization making effective decisions collaboratively. Decision-making is both art and science. More specifically, what are the digital philosophy, principles, and practices to improve decision-making effectiveness and increase the overall business responsiveness and maturity?

  • The art of decision making includes the art of questioning: Part of the problem in decision ineffectiveness has to do with how you frame the question. Inappropriate framing is being the root cause of most bad decisions. It’s also due to the lack of inquisitive minds. People need to leverage both critical thinking and creative thinking to ask tough questions for framing the real issues behind decision making. The thinking approach being used is informed at some level on subjective and intuitive sources of information, but it is calibrated and employed in the structured guiding process that gets everyone to slow down and think through the implications of their intuitive and subjective assumptions. The decisions should be made based on a sound basis, mixing feelings and reflection, inner wisdom and self-regulation; and make sure decisions are being taken neither impulsively nor too late. Because the decision is all about future, and uncertainty is one of the biggest pitfalls to any business transformation today.

  • The science of decision-making is to make sure there is an effective decision process in place: The importance of the decision-making process becomes critical as decisions become more complex and involve many diverse stakeholders. The entire decision-making process includes understanding the need, engaging key stakeholders, ensuring effective communication, assessing alternatives, developing consensus, planning, communicating, executing, and following up on the decision making. So, you need a sound process to frame the decision, spec out your options, weigh them appropriately with the right people, to make sure decisions are being executed and not permanently questioned. Decision-making is a dynamic business capability, not an isolated event. Identify potential benefits and required changes to achieve the goals, to discover the "cause and effect" chain of intermediate objectives, for achieving end benefits and transformation goals. This step also ensures benefits are owned by relevant stakeholders.  

  • Both the art of intuition and the science of analytics have the role to play in making wise decisions: There are many considerations in leveraging thinking fast and slow for decision-making. Sometimes there is no time for analysis. Sometimes the issue is small, and detailed analysis is not worth the effort. Sometimes the key data is not available. Sometimes the intuition does well before you are able to explain the logic; and the other times, you just have to break down the big problems to solve them piece by piece via carefully reasoning. The decision-making scenario includes: Framing the real issues, identification of tasks, understanding the tasks and how they should be sequenced, and how to leverage information associated with tasks optimally to make effective decisions.

“Decision Master” is the guidebook to perceive digital mindsets with multidimensional decision intelligence, define a set of decision-making principles, articulate potential pitfalls in decision-making scenario, describe digital decision-making styles, summarize the important elements in building the decision-making capability and taking stepwise steps to achieve decision maturity.

  • Chapter 1 Decision Intelligence: Intelligence has been defined in several ways. First, intelligence is a cognitive process involving rational and abstract thinking. Second, it is goal-directed and purposeful, and it means that all intelligent activities such as decision-making, are planned to reach a self-determined goal. Finally, it involves social competence to help individuals adjust to their environmental surroundings. It is important to make sound decisions via leveraging multidimensional intelligence.

  • Chapter 2 Decision-Making Principles: One significant effect of digitization is increased velocity, complexity, ambiguity, unpredictability, and a need for a faster response to changes in businesses and industries based on effective and efficient decision making. It’s important to set well-defined principles for guiding decision-making on a day to day basis. The principles as a digital compass will guide all levels of the organization to be able to make decisions in a very organic relationship with its environment.

  • Chapter 3 Digital Decision-Making Styles: Decision making is both the 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 his or her own cognitive strength, knowledge expertise, capability, experience, or the tailored style to become a decision master. At group setting, in order to make the best decisions, it is better having a mix of complementing mindsets, skills and decision-making styles for achieving decision maturity.

  • Chapter 4 Decision-Making Pitfalls: Making decision is one of the significant tasks for digital leaders and professionals today. However, the high ratio of strategic decisions has been made poorly and causes catastrophic effects. What are key factors contributing to poor quality decision-making? How to avoid potential decision-making pitfalls for improving decisions effectiveness and maturity.

  • Chapter 5 Decision Maturity: 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. At the Digital Era, making wise decisions means to leverage multidimensional thought processes, advanced analytic tools, the human intuition, and efficient processes to improve the overall effectiveness and maturity of decision making.

Decision making is an art only until the person understands the science (process, analytics, tool, etc.). It takes the multidisciplinary approach, to frame the right questions before answering them. It has to leverage multidimensional decision intelligence with a combination of both creative thinking and critical thinking, divergent thinking and convergent thinking, strategic thinking and systems thinking, holistic thinking and paradoxical thinking. Ensure you are both information savvy and be flexible to select the optimal solutions with decision wisdom.

Decision Master Book Summary
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Decision Master Introduction
Decision Master Chapter 1 Decision Intelligence
Decision Master Chapter 2 Decision Principles
Decision Master Chapter 3 Digital Decision Styles
Decision Master Chapter 4 Decision Pitfalls

Decision Master Chapter 5 Decision Maturity 


Thank you for this post. I found it extremely informative. I've always found it difficult to make decisions, but I need to learn it as I've recently become a Project Manager in an advertising. We are using Axad there. This is a new management system integrated with MS ERP, hope it'll help organize everything and make me take wise decisions:)

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