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The Wakhlu Advisory - Bharat Wakhlu's webinar presentation "Effective and Swift Decision-making' ; June 13, 2017


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Effective and Swift Decision-making is an essential, 21st century capability for all leaders. This presentation shows how good leadership is inextricably linked to decision-making; and how decisiveness requires that the "thinking" and "acting" aspects of our competencies are melded for effectiveness.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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The Wakhlu Advisory - Bharat Wakhlu's webinar presentation "Effective and Swift Decision-making' ; June 13, 2017

  1. 1. A Strategic Imperative for the 21st Century Executive Effective and Swift Decision-Making Mr. Bharat Wakhlu President & Founder, TWA
  2. 2. I. Leadership, decision-making and greatness II. Decision-making basics and effectiveness III. How decision-making has changed IV. Decision-making in organizations V. Becoming decisive Webinar Flow
  3. 3. Part I: Leadership, Decision-making and Greatness
  4. 4. Successful Leaders • Use decisions to galvanize people • Create high-performing teams • Help achieve collective greatness Leadership Moments are those rare and unique times when leaders encountering a “critical fork in the road” step-up, by being decisive Have you ever met a leader who doesn’t take decisions? Leadership is Decision Making
  5. 5. • Leadership is about people, and leading them to higher ground ▫ Better results, greater outcomes • Followers and leaders are inter-connected ▫ Great leaders achieve extraordinary results by empowering followers • Unified results (some with wholesome outcomes and some without) are achieved when the leaders and followers share their chosen destiny Leadership is not a Solitary Unfolding
  6. 6. Capable, decisive people whose decisions are collectively adopted are viewed as leaders • The people who are inspired and motivated to follow the leader to the envisioned goal, enhance the leader’s influence • When people collectively and cohesively work towards chosen goals, great results are likely Leadership, Influence and Results
  7. 7. Part II: Decision-making Basics and Effectiveness
  8. 8. Signal / Information Source #1 Signal / Information Source #2 Signal / Information Source #N Cognitive Analysis and Filters Decision-Making Basics Intuition Desired or Beneficial Outcome
  9. 9. • It takes a normal human brain just 13 milliseconds to process an image on the retina • Interpretation of signals leads to action- The Fight and Flight response • If early men were not swift in reacting to the rapid decisions, they got eliminated by predators! Our Brain’s are Swift…
  10. 10. • Confirmation Bias, Loss aversion, Framing and other decision traps • Working on improving decision-making requires exercising one’s cognitive abilities • Seeking alternative perspectives as inputs minimizes biases and contributes to better decisions …Yet, Cognition is Prone to Bias
  11. 11. • Flawed decisions ▫ Do not achieve the best outcomes; adverse results are a consequence ▫ Undermine team morale and fail to bring the best out of people • The costs can be measured in terms of ▫ Enhanced risk ▫ Financial or material loss ▫ Diminished opportunities ▫ Restricted access to resources ▫ Bad Hires ▫ Despair ▫ Conflict/War The Cost of Poor Decisions
  12. 12. • Effective decisions are those that yield desirable outcomes – for all involved and over a long period of time • Indecision – the inability to process existing alternatives and acting to achieve a desirable/essential goal– is a negative trait • Despite the outcomes coming after a lag in many cases, a decision “now” is considered better than no decision • Team decisions often yield superior outcomes in certain situations Good Decisions = Good Outcomes
  13. 13. Part III: How Decision-Making has Changed
  14. 14. • Complexities arise from: ▫ Simple to more intricate outcomes ▫ Homogenous vs. heterogeneous people/groups ▫ Stakeholders with diverse and conflicting needs or aspirations Decision-Making is Complex Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity in the information sources add to the difficulties of decision- making
  15. 15. • Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have enabled machines to “think” and act like humans - become autonomous ▫ Benefits of speed, repeatability, precision, trend- determination • This capability is used by robots for repetitive activities, data analytics etc • This field will continue to make rapid strides; more repetitive or less risky areas will continue to be automated AI is Algorithmic
  16. 16. • Deployed for decisions in day-to-day life and emergencies/ where matters of life and death need to be decided quickly • In corporate organizations that need the creativity and efforts of large numbers of people working together to achieve meaningful goals quickly • All other areas that impact what matters most to us as humans: love, relationships, showing compassion, kindness, forgiveness, etc. Managing AI, Innovating, using Technology… Human Ingenuity is Unique
  17. 17. Part IV: Decision-making in Organizations
  18. 18. Good Organizations hire good people… yet many end up being slow and bureaucratic when it comes to decision- making and action • Large organizations especially prone to ▫ Tardiness ▫ Decisions concentrated at the top levels ▫ Others “looking upwards” for guidance ▫ Distributed decision-making not in evidence Organizations = Bureaucracy?
  19. 19. • Indecision or flawed decisions at the top of the hierarchy can be far more damaging than at lower levels • Chief Executives need to practice and then perfect being decisive; those who cannot are not viewed favorably • Four Factors contribute to typical decision-dysfunction Leaders Need Decision Smarts
  20. 20. 1. Culture, Politics and “Red lines” 2. Social Architecture 3. Analytical Support Systems 4. Individual Capabilities and Choices Four Factors Affecting Decisiveness
  21. 21. • Values, beliefs and guidelines – Talking the talk and Walking the talk • Discipline and systems that prevent violation of written- down Protocols, Procedures, and conditions (red-lines) • Appreciating decisiveness and distributed decision- making; not using politics to make people “yes men” 1. Culture, Politics and Red Lines
  22. 22. • PAMS Alignment – is decision-making encouraged? • Organization structure, career paths, learning and development opportunities • Systems of Recognition, rewards and growth in the organization • Are conscious decisions with not-so-favourable outcomes penalized? Or would this be viewed as a learning opportunity? 2. Social Architecture
  23. 23. • Using Business Intelligence, data mining and Big-data analytics for Decision-support and improving the Quality of Decisions • Refined processes and computational resources to make available pertinent data – whenever and wherever in the organization it matters • Encouraging intuition but with data-driven decision-making 3. Analytical Support Systems
  24. 24. • Thinking methods (risk-taking, Situation analysis, personal choices, action-orientation, focus on results); the future is always uncertain, but does that result in ‘analysis- paralysis’? • Working styles (alignment of results, no conflicts of interest, and transparency); Clarity of the outcomes one wishes to achieve • Choices that continuously improve decision-making (taking more decisions, achieving better results and eliminating judgment flaws and biases) 4. Individual Capabilities and Choices
  25. 25. Part V: Becoming Decisive
  26. 26. Individual Actions: • Learn by doing – Think clearly, and take more decisions ; keep practicing • Function ethically ▫ Avoid obvious or hidden conflicts of Interest ▫ Clarify the values you stand for • Avoid decision-traps and biases • Analyze situations to determine the risks and the urgency • Determine how the decision process needs to evolve – then ACT! Becoming Decisive – Now!
  27. 27. Group Actions: • Communicate and listen ▫ To the guidance and ideas of others ▫ Adhere to values and don’t cross red-lines ▫ Reconcile divergent ideas and then, act • Expect high levels of performance from the team ▫ Keep emphasizing the desired goals • Empower the team to take decisions of their own; encourage decisiveness • Be honest, and truthful ▫ If errors are made inadvertently, accept them and move on • Know that thoughtful decisiveness is better than inaction Becoming Decisive – Now!
  28. 28. Questions & Comments?
  29. 29. Digital Content & Marketing Partner