Sunday, July 2, 2017

Five Digital Credos to Improve Decision Maturity

The decision is about the future, a decision is needed when it is uncertain and decision effectiveness directly impacts the maturity and success of the business.

The businesses and the world have become more complex, uncertain, volatile, and ambiguous. So decision-making also becomes more complex, but critical for the business’s survival and thriving. Making sound judgments or decisions at either the strategic or operational level is one of the most important activities as well as the core capability for business leaders and professionals today. Here is a set of digital credos to improve decision maturity and builds business competency.

The art of decision making includes the art of questioning: Decision-making can be divided into two phases: Frame the right problems and make the right choices. Many business leaders fail to make effective decisions, part of problems is that they frame the wrong question; which means they intend to do things right before doing the right things’ or they try to figure out the ‘HOW,” instead of digging through “WHY” first. The right scenario to make decisions is to look at various classes of questions and ask: Who or what gets to decide? What are the incentives and drivers? What are the limits and constraints? What are environmental, organizational and sociological factors that define the environment in which the decisions are made? What can you do to mitigate the risks/weaknesses that you've identified in this choice? If you cannot mitigate or remove those risks, are you still willing to move ahead with this choice? What are the possible outcomes of making this choice, and how to handle the different scenario? Etc. These and similar questions set the stage. After making the choice, the further questions are needed to keep track of actions and results: ‘Who is to take action?' 'How will you know the action is completed?' and 'What is the consequence of not taking action’? The art of decision-making includes the art of questioning, and the art of questioning is to stimulate creativity, encourage critical thinking, leverage systems thinking, and master decision-making via an analysis-synthesis continuum.

Decision making is an art only until the person understands the science: Both information and intuition are important in achieving decision-making effectiveness. Making a great decision is a piece of art because there is no such a magic formula to make one-size-fits-all decisions. For decision-making to be effective, the decision-maker must have enough knowledge to make their decisions rich in information and often significantly different from the available data as well. Because how effective the decision is depends on how capable the decision maker can climb the knowledge pyramid from data to information to insight and wisdom. The biggest challenge is knowing what you don’t know, it’s a reasonable moniker for decision-making blind spot and biases. That said, decision-making is an art only until the person understands the science. Because people who can see the bigger picture, frame the right questions, abstract the insight from the overloading information, leverage the multitude of thought processes, and are not living the day-to-day activities, are needed to clear blind spots and make effective decisions.

 The science of decision-making is to make sure there is an effective decision process in place: A sound process to frame decision is critical. 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. Decision-making is not a one-time event, but an iterative process and a dynamic business capability. At today’s “VUCA” digital environment, the importance of the process becomes critical as decisions become more complex and involve diverse stakeholders. You need a sound process to frame the decision, leverage the right set of information, weigh options appropriately with the right people and actually make an effective decision. With an effective process, if you mine, cleanse and improve the data to produce information, then combine that information and visualize it in different ways, then you gain organizational knowledge and from that knowledge, you can make excellent tactical decisions. Making sound processes to frame decision is critical. 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.

“What is the decision” must sit between thought and action: The half of the battle is framing the question appropriately. Decision-making is the capability. It’s best for thinking in a multidimensional way to really hone in on the "why." it’s important to understand the contrarian viewpoints and leverage collective insight, and practice mind power to identify blind spots, avoid distractions, guide through what to select from available choices, how to accommodate constraints, An essential part of the 'framing process' is to understand what your high-level outcomes are related to the issue, identify the opportunity or problem. Once you figure out what the true problems are, apply Systems Thinking for solving complex problems with creativity, logic, and flexibility. If the decision-making scenario is well designed and well executed, you have the highest probability of getting the best outcome in the state of knowledge accessible at the time of decision making. “What is the decision” must sit between thoughts and actions. Like many other skills or professional capabilities, it takes practice, practice, and practice more to improve your decision ability.

Decision makers with emotional excellence have the ability to dispassionately examine alternatives via fact finding, analysis, structured planning, objective evaluations, and comparison: There is a full emotion cycle behind complex decision making. Emotional maturity is the ability to wait, think, and respond to a situation without responding with a knee-jerk reaction. It is the responsibility of each individual to examine themselves both intellectually and emotionally and to make sure they are open to true understanding and become “decision-ready.” High EQ decision makers can leverage multifaceted thought processes in making sound judgments, identify where to show firmness and flexibility, and improve decision-making maturity. To avoid the trap of emotional turbulence or individual perception, you have to think critically and profoundly and you have to really dig beneath the superficial layer, leverage the collective insight, see around the corner and transcend the interdisciplinary knowledge, dispassionately examine alternative via scientific evaluation and comparison, in order to make sound judgments and effective decisions. and take actions decisively.

The decision is about the future, a decision is needed when it is uncertain and decision effectiveness directly impacts the success of the business. Decision-making is both art and science. It takes multidimensional thinking and the multidisciplinary approach, to frame the right questions before answering them. It is important to follow these digital decision credos, to ensure you are both information savvy and be flexible to select the optimal solutions with decision wisdom.


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