The monthly Huffington Post Great Workplaces article is up:
Pivoting Decisions to Avoid Sabotaging Business Profitability. Plus Forecasting the Future
Why Pivot Decision Making and Why Now?
Complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity in the business decision making environment requires a broader perspective, higher awareness and alert approach to how decisions happen. Most of the time, when mistakes occur, blame falls on outside conditions. The opportunity to strengthen you inner sensibilities, the accuracy of interpersonal communication and consideration of contextual factors including who is impacted, is missed. Pivoting decision making begins with seeing the world through a slightly different, wider, more curious lens so assumptions are kept to a minimum and insights can occur. Profitability is the direct result of seeing the world through mindset that can take in and work with the big picture.
Making Decisions in Ambiguity and Uncertainty
Ambiguity refers to conditions where what will happen next is inherently indefinite (as in “Who knows?”). Making decisions in ambiguity requires much more in the way of leadership courage to step onto the ledge of growth. As Tony Robbins put it: Certainty provides stability; uncertainty provides growth. You need both to function as an executive decision maker no matter what role you play in a company. In the previous Huffington Post article: 10 Tips for Executive Decision Makers in Ambiguity, I provided some very specific tips for using your inner skills along with what’s needed to profit from collaborative decision making. See that article for more.
What is the connection to profitability? Clearly you can’t change what you can’t see. Similarly, you can’t control the uncontrollable. Gaining strength in working with both ambiguity and uncertainty is essential.
Designing Strategy in Uncertainty
Since forecasting the future is key for strategy, how do you see ahead when there is nothing predictable about the future. You could hire a psychic who’d likely be as accurate as you might be, but here’s a better idea. Try using the wisdom of the crowds made popular by James Surowiecki’s book: The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations. Research in the book and since then shows that diversity of perspective is far more accurate than any one smart intelligent person.
It is no coincidence that I was contacted by Lucie Clayton from Percypt, a software platform developed to apply collective intelligence to predicting the future. You’ll see in the HuffPo article why extrapolation and linear thinking doesn’t work anymore. Here, I’ll provide the backdrop for using collective intelligence for predicting the future… nice to feel you have a little more control over uncertainty isn’t it?
The site is built on algorithms found on Almanis. Lucie tells me that the “crowd has forecasted on over 150 questions so far since launch in December. The accuracy rate is 94.7% on closed questions and a brier score median of 0.274.” Look to Wikipedia for what a brier score means.
We’re at the point where decision makers and leaders are stepping up to use much more of their full spectrum of intelligence. Tech can help, but in the end it is about hacking human performance (episode 18) to take advantage of our true capacity to adapt and evolve and for profitability to extend more widely.