by Dawna Jones, author of Decision Making for Dummies on Steve Denning's (Forbes) list of 8 Noteworthy Books for 2014
The scenario is ubiquitous: either you don't have enough information to feel certain you're making the right decision or you don't know you're missing key information. Market conditions are changing fast! Disruptive innovations are noticeably impacting traditional business models. If executives are to navigate the ambiguity and uncertainty with greater ease and efficacy, a much broader perspective, access to a wider range of innate but inactive intelligences and flexible thinking is required. Add the need for greater deep-seated comfort with ambiguity and executives are challenged to attain greater fulfillment.
The future of your company depends on capacity to replace old habits with decision-making awareness skills more suitable for uncertainty and ambiguity.
- Switch from basing your decisions on beliefs (what worked in the past) to values (which design the future). Beliefs serve to rationalize past experience or how the world works and may or may not be true. The riskiest belief limiting business profitability is the notion that the purpose of a business is to create profit. In fact, much higher profitability and value creation results when companies are in service to a higher goal with wider benefit. In contrast, values are transcendent. Richard Barrett explains. [See Chapter 5 of Decision Making for Dummies for more detail.]
Ford's V.P. Lew Veraldi formed a cross functional inter-disciplinary team cutting across traditional siloes. He wanted to make the Taurus a commercial success so he directed focus toward the customer experience. He'd say to the engineers: "Tell me something about this design that you're proud of." When an engineer would report on the electrical output of the alternator he'd ask: "How will the electrical output of the alternator affect the customer experience?" His line of questioning led to all sorts of engineering innovations.
"We pretend that what we do doesn't have an effect on people. We do that in our personal lives. We do that corporate -- whether it's a bailout, an oil spill, a recall.... "- Brene Brown, TED Talk, Power of Vulnerability
The standard Wall Street boilerplate disclaimer remains true but forgotten: "Past performance is no guarantee of future results."
Financial security of companies and the people who work for them, is not to be taken for granted. Great workplaces are created and sustained through conscious oversight. The key success factor is much higher levels of executive leadership awareness operating from an expanded forward-focused mindset. Applied to decision-making, the ship can be turned around in tight conditions.
Dawna Jones offers a sounding board - mentoring service for executives and change agents seeking insights and ways to better navigate difficult dynamics, particularly collisions between traditional thinking and what's needed to adapt. Think of it as cultural oversight. Logically, risk exposure is reduced by engaging creativity and deeper intelligences.
Workshops focus on the advanced decision-making skills and elevated awareness required for seeing through complexity to expand flexibility and perception. Dawna is also the author of Decision Making for Dummies, on Steve Denning's (Forbes) list of 8 noteworthy books for 2014. She blogs for Huffington Post Great Workplaces and hosts the Evolutionary Provocateur podcast. Contact via LinkedIn or at Dawna@FromInsightToAction.com.