To make good decisions we require good information. The challenge is that in many instances we make decisions with incomplete and imperfect information, even where further insight was possible. Groups whose diversity should enable differences in perspective and viewpoint often gravitate to the lowest common denominator. Pressure to get to the decision and pulls on attention mean that relevant information doesn’t get the attention or consideration that it should. It doesn’t have to be this way; with a little bit of thought and planning, better process is possible and other perspectives become practical.
If we care about making a good strategic decision, then we need a capable process to get us there. In my last article, I made the argument that if we try to move normal meeting structures online, we are likely to fail. Partly that’s a product of attention span and inadequacies in online meeting technologies. […]
Our brains are wonderful things. And so our our smartphones. We now have a smartphone in our pocket, and previously unimagined information at our fingertips. The challenge is knowing what to do with all that power. Or, more to the point, recognizing how the easy access to information makes us think about decisions and choices, and think in general. The more we take for granted about information that’s available, the less we take the time to recognize and work through what we already know.
I’ve got that feeling again. You know the one. The anxious, niggling, persistent twinge that something’s not quite right. I’ve been thinking about how our unconscious self often tries to communicate with us. It’s often subtle. Easy to ignore, downplay or dismiss. And yet that little voice inside often has something important to say, if we’re just prepared to listen.
Culture is important. And context is everything. And yet, when we make decisions, we very often ignore the things that we should pay attention to the most. Worse, our tendency to do that is hard wired. That doesn’t mean it has to stay that way, though.
It’s always fun to talk about decision making. It’s interesting to delineate between the theory of rational choice and the reality of behavioural deciding. But it’s surprising how enduring rational preferences are.