Making the Right Decisions

Dear Valued Customers

Every day we make decisions be it at home, work place or at community level. In so doing we constantly used our automatic cognitive systems (uncontrolled, effortless, associative, fast, unconscious and skilled) or reflective systems (controlled, effortful, deductive, slow, self-aware and rule-following). Of course, we should not worry except that this can cause people to confuse random fluctuations with causal patterns and this is where decision making matters.

Leaders and managers are decision makers and represent an essential activity of their work program. It also represents the crossroads where a number of different disciplines meet. They make choices which can sometimes be costly to both the organisation and society in general. They consider alternatives courses of action and choose that which is regarded as the best. At corporate level, decisions are made about resource allocation, new product development, new market penetration, which technology to adopt and which supplier to be chosen and which strategy to pursue. These decisions are purposeful, contributing to the achievement of the organisation’s objectives but also constrained due to lack of resources, technical infeasibility and other legal and ethical considerations.

Therefore, decision making is a means to an end which can be increasing an individual’s utility or a company’s profit. This requires more information and knowledge than an individual usually possessed. In fact, better information is often too expensive and that is where management consultants make their living with its associated agency problem which unfortunately sometimes involve ethically unacceptable behavior.

Making the right decision at the right time is becoming a rare asset especially at this conjecture of our history with a chaotic, complex, fast moving, uncertain and ambiguous environment duped by Covid19 pandemic. The future is uncertain with uncertainties at both the means and ends. Decision makers are uncertain about what their decisions will achieve resulting in goals ambiguity. No one knows for sure what will work, so it is very important to build an effective system that can evolve and adapt rapidly. This perennial system should be based on a healthy hierarchy, self-organisation and resilience.

See you soon.

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