I recently bought a copy of Harvard Business Review (yes, I was at an airport with a long flight looming). It had a front page headline of ‘how to make smarter decisions.’
That’s a topic that particularly intrigues me, so I bought it, hoping to get lots of decision making brilliance from those clever people over at Harvard.
Here are the nuggets I picked up from them. Sharing them helps me validate the $16.95 they charged, bless them.
Decision Making Brilliance
Deciding How to Decide
* We don’t always know what we don’t know.
* Deciding when to decide is often as important as deciding how to decide.
* Consciously decide how and when to make a decision.
Beyond the echo chamber
In order to keep your decisions as accurate as possible, don’t just stay within your own circle (aka echo chamber) or your decisions will be tainted by “potentially negative group think.” Make sure your information and source of ideas are diverse and independent.
Know what kind of decision you are making
The term “decision” is too broad – everything from buying new cereal to choosing a new car is coined under the term “decision.” Insights from one genre of decision making doesn’t always translate over to other types of decision making.
Regardless of how much you test decisions, uncertainty is a fact of life. So… in addition to courage to make a big decision, you also need the fortitude to deal with unpleasant surprises.
Random pieces of wisdom
On creativity: “If you want a boost of creativity, focus on something green.” I assume they don’t mean Kermit the Frog.
From HBR blog Doug Sundheim
On closing the chasm between Strategy & Execution:
“The best managers don’t believe there is a handoff between strategy and execution.”
Physiolytics: new wearable technology that captures data
We speak on average 16,000 words a day.
The ability to anticipate the future (sadly it is in short supply). How can you improve your perceptual acuity? Get out and talk to people searching out information. It’s not about powerpoints – it is searching out big ideas. Listen to your insiders – listening requires listening to their viewpoints, especially opposing ones. You need the mental capacity and tenacity to knit inferences into something meaningful.
The two biggest misconceptions CEO’s have about decision making are:
1) that they know it all;
2) that they can decide alone.