More on – How can you be a decision architect at your Organization…

I am struggling with the context of what someone like a Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Napoleon, Gandhi, mountain climber Joe Simpson or Andes plane crash survivor Nando Parrado would alter in their decision architecture styles respectively, based on the directions in the current thread?
How would they consider re-shaping or changing their environments to better facilitate correct decision making by one and all (as if what they were doing was not already successful?)

Here are the 5 steps from this thread I am in in contention with (purely because I have seen this in a dozen management articles and then some…

(1) Understand the systematic errors in decision making that can occur
(2) determine whether behavioral issues are at the heart of the poor decisions in question, (3) pinpoint the specific underlying causes
(4) redesign the decision-making context to mitigate the negative impacts of biases and inadequate motivation
(5) rigorously test the solution. This process can be applied to a wide range of problems, from high employee turnover to missed deadlines to poor strategic decisions.

Here is a basic problem Solving process I have seen working from he early 1980’s to current date. in 1990’s Japan (at several a few manufacturing facilities I was able to visit at the time). I have actually found this system to work at all levels in the Organization (I saw these in use from shop floor right up to the Sr. Ex. levels there in japan)

1. Identify and select the problem
2. Define the problem (statement, as is state – desired state, Why, What, When, Who, Where and How questions)
3. Analyze the problem (Ishikawa, Pareto, Distribution curve, Histogram, etc)
4. Brainstorm for solutions
5. Plan and select solution (optimum solution, consider pilot case, etc)
6. Implement solution (check for any recurring issues, consistent defects in process and fix them)
7. Recycle the solution until issues are resolved
You can see that the basic problem solving process above is generic enough to fit around almost any management problem or challenge – current thread included (in terms of the concern with better ways to improve the overall organization decision making)

On a more visceral level, I struggle with the definition and differentiation between system 1and system 2 decision styles. if I superimpose the  options against a fireman running up the Twin Towers and what could possibly be going thru his mind at the time – does he (or his leadership) truly have the luxury of system 2 thinking to meet the demands of the moment? And therefore, regardless of outcome, do we really need to know that this was perhaps doomed to fail because they had applied System 1 type decision making?

The same sort of thinking applies to a Policeman called to a scene where a juvenile, pre-teen is supposed to be threatening the public with a handgun. Does he try to get close enough to determine if the gun is real or a toy, or does he do what he is trained to do to disarm the youth and protect the public  – which may mean that he shoots to kill or fatally injure the suspect.

I am simply saying that the context is not new to me and I am as hard pressed as you are to see the value in this sort of intellectual creativity, where we spend a lot of time/churn creating something seemingly new and different, when we are simply regurgitating the same old same old using DNA from centuries past…yes as Santayana said…if we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it!

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