Decision-Making Fast and Slow

Decision-Making Fast and SlowDecisions can be relatively inconsequential, but when they are tough ones, one of the complexities leaders face is how quickly they need to make the decision.  As illustrated in last week’s blog post about James Comey’s many decision points, sometimes you have more time to develop good assessments, and other times you don’t.
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Truth or Fiction

Truth or FictionTake a look at an emerging phenomenon: what has happened to the lines between truth and fiction?  They have become blurred by ‘alternate facts’, by reliance on anonymous sources of information, by willfully ignoring evidence that refutes a point of view. Although ‘truth’ can be a relative term in the best of circumstances, it seems to have become open to interpretation more than ever in our lifetimes. As this takes place in the wider world, what impact begins to be felt in the workplace? Continue reading

Is Your Decision-Making Process Ethical?

Worried businesswoman receiving notificationDyonne was feeling conflicted.  The decision made by her executive team of peers was well-researched, vetted by a diverse group, and followed a similar set of decisions made in the industry.  Yet Dyonne’s gut was unsettled.  This decision made her feel squeamish.  As she shared it in confidence with a trusted advisor, she admitted that she didn’t want to have her name associated with it.  The bottom line was that Dyonne felt the decision had some ethical problems that she had a hard time reconciling. Continue reading

What Guides Your Decision-Making?

principlesCarved into the granite wall of Northwestern Mutual, a financial services company, is this statement:

The ambition of Northwestern Mutual has been less to be large than to be safe; its aim is to rank first in benefits to policyowners rather than first in size. Valuing quality above quantity, it has preferred to secure its business under certain salutary restrictions and limitations rather than to write much larger business at the possible sacrifice of those valuable points which have made Northwestern Mutual pre-eminently the policyowner’s company.

-Executive Committee, 1888”

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Standing Up for a Decision You Don’t Support

Looking to the futureYolanda argued long and eloquently with her peer vice presidents about a proposal that she felt was risky, inconsistent with company values, and would have a negative effect on employees, causing layoffs that she felt were unnecessary.  Despite her well-reasoned thinking, the majority of her colleagues supported the proposal, and a decision was made to move forward with it.  The CEO asked the vice presidents to work out a strong communication plan to their reports, and begin the process of communicating the decision immediately, so that the proposal’s implementation would not be delayed. Continue reading

The Perils of Decision-Making: A Checklist for Making Good Decisions

DecisionOf all the things we do as leaders, the one that is most front-and-center in our day-to-day lives is making decisions.  We make dozens of them every day, sometimes intuitively with little thought, and sometimes with gut-wrenching uncertainty and procrastination.  You’d think that a skill so essential to our work would be the first thing taught in our MBA classes, but was it for you?  Bet not. Continue reading

Is Inclusion Always Ideal in Decision-Making?

justice - vote à mains levéesInvolving employees in decisions has become the holy grail of consulting wisdom.  Consider these quotes from consulting firms’ sites:

“There is a direct correlation between how involved employees are in the decision making in their department or team and their overall morale, motivation, and satisfaction with their jobs.” Continue reading