Turn decision-making into decision-making power

"Man is doomed to freedom", if we are to believe the French philosopher Sartre. And although most of us see freedom as something overwhelmingly positive, freedom also means a host of decision-making situations that can cause grief. It is only when you have made your decision that you are free, it is said.

Globalization and digitalization have meant that today we live with a huge number of choices and with a complexity that is completely impossible to see for the individual. With such a reality, it is no wonder that we occasionally end up in decision anxiety and wonder which is the next best step forward.

If we listen to those who research our thinking ability, this is also not strange as we are evolutionarily not adapted to the influx of information and choices that we live with. In order not to waste energy, our brain has learned not to think unnecessarily. This means that many of the decisions we make are more or less automatic. This is good for avoiding overload, but it also means that in many cases we draw wrong conclusions about how things are connected.

Is there then something to do to turn decision-making into decision-making power? And what does it mean for our organizations that must act in order to survive and thrive despite growing complexity and rapid mobility? Here are some tips on how to make more effective decision-making:

  1. Identify which decisions require greater consideration and invest a lot of brain capacity in them. Other is handled as "business as usual".
  2. Create models for decision making and let the computers do the "heavy" thought work. For example, using assumptions, trend calculations and statistical models when calculating forecasts.
  3. Describe your important decision-making processes and document both decisions and the supporting documents and assessments that lead to them. We cannot know in advance if the right decision is being made, but we can control how we make the decision.
  4. Enables scope for innovation through the creation of a transparent environment that encourages participation. Many brains are always better than few brains.
  5. Not least: Treat your brain the same way as the rest of your body. It needs rest and energy before and after effort. Did you know, for example, that prioritizing is an extremely energy-consuming task? So nothing to recommend after a long day at work.