Monday, September 24, 2012

A source on decision making.

Rich Steele, in a review of How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer provides this check list on decision making:

1. Continue to use everything I taught you regarding rational process
  A. In problem solving:
     • Specify the problem, listing both the is and is not’s
     • Look for distinctions and changes
     • Identify and test for true cause
  B. In decision making:
     • List objectives or criteria first, then separate musts from wants and weigh your wants
     • Generate alternatives, screen them through your musts and score them against your weighted wants
     • Then assess risks
  C. In planning:
     • List the steps in your plan and identify potential problems
     • List causes for those potential problems
     • Plan preventive and contingent actions
2. Use the CRM (Cockpit Resource Management) Approach
     • Work big problems and decisions as a team
     • Get input and encourage open communication regarding problem solving and decision making
     • Use the “see it, say it, fix it” methodology
3. Think like an NFL Quarterback, an Airline Pilot or a Surgeon
     • Practice under (simulated) pressure however and whenever you can
     • Debrief and learn from your mistakes (and your successes)
     • Revise and codify your processes from your lessons learned
4. Trust your instincts (especially you Myers Briggs Intuitive “N” types)
     • Your intuition is usually based on past experience or some other reality
     • It isn’t really some mysterious “inner voice”
5. Don’t over think problems or decisions
     • Too much of even a good thing can make us choke
     • Remember Jean Van de Veld in the 1999 British Open
This looks pretty reasonable. Like any checklist, it summarizes rather than explains. Decision making quality contributes to results, but does not determine them; implementation is a determinant but chance and the action of others count. Decision making quality depends not on the checklist, but on how well you carry out the steps.

No comments: