Following post on “The need for better decisions – why now?”
“I completely agree with everything you said about the urgency we all should feel in regard to improving the quality of our decisions. But how do I convince the people I’m working with that something should be done about this issue? What can I offer them as an incentive to try improving their decision-making skills? ”
Well, for starters, you can invite them to read AnyaWorkSmart – it will work wonders 🙂
On a more serious note, though, you can bring to their consideration the amount of attention this issue gets in both academic and professional circles over the last decade. It all started 11 years ago with the Nobel Prize in Economics given to a couple of guys for proving that our economic behaviour is completely irrational. They have found that most people do not use a proper decision-making process even when some real money is at stake. Since then, a lot of research was published about the different repercussions this phenomenon has on our lives and our ability to make good decisions. Naturally, more people became aware of the problem, as scientific knowledge entered the public domain with the help of TED-talks and dedicated discussions on Internet forums.
However, the problem with academic research is that it is usually much more concerned with describing the problem than with coming up with a decision. Scientists aim to discover things about our world and not to change it in some fundamental way.
Therefore, the job of overcoming decision biases is left to us – the main practitioners of decision-making. Right now, many people in the field, including myself, are engaged with building tools that will help Managers to overcome their misconceptions and irrational choices in order to make their decisions consistently better. Some tools of this kind are already on the market, others will be sure to follow, as everyone around becomes more and more aware that the issue of decision-making is a) controllable and b) needs improvement.
Acquiring such tools for your organization is the best way to actively engage all its members in improving their decision-making, as people come to share the knowledge of the basic concepts of Decision-Making and Bias Control and the common language that comes with this knowledge.
You can also encourage your colleagues to track the results of their decisions both on the short-term and the long-term levels. An open discussion of what was done and what could have been done better is your most basic tools for improving your decisions, as it shows the motivation to learn from your mistakes, which are a natural consequence of bad decisions.