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Monday, March 4, 2013

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Although developing a strategic plan is important to business success, executing that plan is crucial. Leaders cannot allow themselves to get so involved in the daily action of their business that they lose site of the plan and allow the team’s execution to wander from the focus on the short and long term benchmarks necessary for the plan to be efficiently realized. A key factor in the process is the decisions you make every day.
In her new book Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We can Stick to the Plan, Francesca Gino offers details on factors that are likely to sway our decisions in directions we did not initially consider and offers guidance on what can we do to correct for the subtle influences that derail our decisions. She shows that such mismatches are most likely to occur between what we want and what we end up doing.

Take into account your emotional state before making a decision. “You may discover that you are dismissing the suggestions ofa colleaqgue just because you are in a bad mood,” writes Gino. page 62

Weigh alternatives to a given decision. “Thinking counter-factually expands our focus from just one of frame of reference to many other frames, and encourages you to reach a more balanced view.” page 198

Situational forces can influence decisions. A change as subtle “as dimmed lighting” in a room can create “illusory anonymity,” Gino writes, which  leads to more “lying and cheating.” page 201

Beware the superficial “social  bonds” in your network that can affect your judgement. “We easily form connections susch as sharing the same birthday,” Gino writes. “These connections can derail our decisions.” page 227

Irrelevant factors can have impact your decisions (and behavior) in a major way. By understanding the nuances of your decisions -- and how they get derailed -- you will have a better chance of reaching your intended goals.

Here are some more perspectives on decision-making:

“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” -Jim Collins

“Many people fail in their career, business and relationship, and others get stuck because of their inability to make quality decisions.” -Nkem Mpamah

“On an important decision one rarely has 100% of the information needed for a good decision no matter how much one spends or how long one waits. And, if one waits too long, he has a different problem and has to start all over. This is the terrible dilemma of the hesitant decision maker.” -Robert K. Greenleaf

“When you come to a place where you have to left or right,' says Sister Ruth, 'go straight ahead.” -Kathleen Norris

“You will rarely make wise decisions if you surround yourself with fools.” -Rasheed Ogunlaru

“Accepting trial and error means accepting error. It means taking problems in our stride when a decision doesn't work out, whether through luck or misjudgment. And that is not something human brains seem to be able to do without a struggle.” -Tim Harford

If you would like to purchase a copy of
Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed,
and How We can Stick to the Plan,

Source: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed - Francesca Gino
(Harvard University Press), Bloomberg Businessweek 2/25/13

1 comment:

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