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jerryking : analysis_paralysis   4

Dyson and the art of making quick decisions
October 16, 2019 | Financial Times | by John Gapper.

Article is arguing for enforcing a “shot clock” on lingering decisions and to put plans into action faster and regain competitive footing in your industry/business.

Entrepreneur, James Dyson, unceremoniously abandoned a Dyson initiative to build an electric car.  It demonstrated how unsentimental he was about unsuccessful experiments.....Better to acknowledge defeat as early as possible rather than after having thrown away hundreds of millions...For any business to thrive, difficult decisions need to be made, from new projects to corporate strategy. “The job of the CEO, everyone knows, is to make decisions,” wrote Ram Charan, a veteran strategy adviser. This is especially true when entire industries are facing disruption to their business models......Indecision is common in companies facing myriad possibilities, when executives are struggling to assess alternatives for future strategy. Many managers become frustrated by the glacial pace of corporate decision-making. McKinsey, the consultancy, surveyed executives who complained of “over-reliance on consensus and death by committee”, among other irritations....It is not always the chief executive’s fault. Some managers are comfortable with making simple decisions but struggle when they are promoted to a level where they are exposed to ambiguity and uncertainty. They need to employ their judgment, rather than consulting the data like an oracle. Their indecision can also infect the CEO. But your business is not a democracy....Some executives promote a “five second rule” to prompt executives who report to them to reach decisions (i.e. summarise the alternatives and options for any strategy, pause and pick one).....Being forced to use intuition after considering the evidence helps to avoid being paralysed by a question when there is no easy answer......Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, observed that “managers think of themselves as captains of a ship on a stormy sea” who respond skilfully to the elements around them. It feels better to pick a destination and sail in that direction than to wallow around.....But Prof Kahneman won his economics Nobel for research on the cognitive biases that affect human choices. Making quick decisions, even informed by experience and expertise, is valuable but not foolproof. As he noted, “intuition feels just the same when it’s wrong and when it’s right, that’s the problem.”....Those who consider a challenge from all angles and act prudently and decisively may still be wrong. “Even highly experienced, superbly competent and well-intentioned managers are fallible,” Prof Kahneman wrote. Among the traps is the “halo effect” of believing that an executive who has succeeded before will make any project work. It follows that leaders should not be trapped by their decisions, or the confirmation bias of believing that the chosen path must be correct...... It is difficult when a leader place the entire company on another course, only to discover the pitfalls. It may take a successor to come along and reverse those choices. But decisions will at least prove right some of the time; indecision is always mistaken.
ambiguities  analysis_paralysis  CEOs  clock_speed  confirmation_bias  decision_making  Daniel_Kahneman  Dyson  halo_effects  hard_choices  HBR  humility  indecision  intuition  leaders  James_Dyson  judgment  mistakes  Ram_Charan  shot_clock  speed  tough-mindedness  uncertainty  unsentimental 
october 2019 by jerryking
How Entrepreneurs Craft Strategies That Work
March-April 1994| HBR | Amar Bhidé.

However popular it may be in the corporate world, a comprehensive analytical approach to planning doesn’t suit most start-ups. Entrepreneurs typically lack the time and money to interview a representative cross section of potential customers, let alone analyze substitutes, reconstruct competitors’ cost structures, or project alternative technology scenarios. In fact, too much analysis can be harmful; by the time an opportunity is investigated fully, it may no longer exist. A city map and restaurant guide on a CD may be a winner in January but worthless if delayed until December...What are the critical elements of winning entrepreneurial approaches? Our evidence suggests three general guidelines for aspiring founders:

1. Screen opportunities quickly to weed out unpromising ventures.

2. Analyze ideas parsimoniously. Focus on a few important issues.

3. Integrate action and analysis. Don’t wait for all the answers, and be ready to change course.
entrepreneur  strategies  HBR  founders  Amar_Bhidé  hustle  capital_efficiency  pivots  analysis_paralysis  action-oriented  pragmatism  Michael_McDerment  frugality  parsimony  good_enough 
june 2012 by jerryking
The 6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers
Mar 20, 2012 | | Inc.com | Paul J. H. Schoemaker.
Adaptive strategic leaders--the kind who thrive in today’s uncertain environment--do six things well:

1. Anticipate. Hone your “peripheral vision.” Reduce vulnerabilities to rivals who detect and act on ambiguous signals. ... Build wide external networks to help you scan the horizon better
2. Think Critically. Critical thinkers question everything. To master this skill, you must force yourself to reframe problems to get to the bottom of things, in terms of root causes. Challenge current beliefs and mindsets, including your own Uncover hypocrisy, manipulation, and bias in organizational decisions.
3. Interpret. Ambiguity is unsettling. Faced with it, you are tempted to reach for a fast (potentially wrongheaded) solution. A good strategic leader holds steady, synthesizing information from many sources before developing a viewpoint. To get good at this, you have to:Seek patterns in multiple sources of data; Question prevailing assumptions and test multiple hypotheses simultaneously.
4. Decide. Many leaders fall prey to “analysis paralysis.” Develop processes and enforce them, so that you arrive at a “good enough” position. To do that well, you have to: Carefully frame the decision to get to the crux of the matter, Balance speed, rigor, quality, and agility. Leave perfection to higher powers. Take a stand even with incomplete information and amid diverse views
5. Align. Consensus is rare. Foster open dialogue, build trust, and engage key stakeholders, especially when views diverge. To pull that off, you need to: Understand what drives other people's agendas, including what remains hidden. Bring tough issues to the surface, even when it's uncomfortable
Assess risk tolerance and follow through to build the necessary support
6. Learn.

As your company grows, honest feedback is harder and harder to come by. You have to do what you can to keep it coming.
Encourage and exemplify honest, rigorous debriefs to extract lessons
Shift course quickly if you realize you're off track
Celebrate both successes and (well-intentioned) failures that provide insight
Do you have what it takes?
tips  leadership  habits  strategic_thinking  anticipating  critical_thinking  networks  biases  conventional_wisdom  decision_making  empathy  feedback  thinking  failure  lessons_learned  leaders  interpretation  ambiguities  root_cause  insights  paralyze  peripheral_vision  analysis_paralysis  reframing  course_correction  vulnerabilities  good_enough  debriefs  post-mortems  problem_framing  discomforts  wide-framing  outward_looking  assumptions  game_changers 
march 2012 by jerryking
How to Stay Stuck in the Wrong Career
December 2002 | HBR | by Herminia Ibarra.

But change actually happens the other way around. Doing comes first, knowing second, because changing careers means redefining our working identity--our sense of self in our professional roles, what we convey about ourselves to others and, ultimately, how we live our working lives. Who we are and what we do are tightly connected, the result of years of action. And to change that connection, we must first resort to action--exactly what the conventional wisdom cautions us against....First, determine with as much clarity and certainty as possible what you really want to do. Next, use that knowledge to identify jobs or fields in which your passions can be coupled with your skills and experience. Seek advice from the people who know you best and from professionals in tune with the market. Then simply implement the resulting action steps. Change is seen as a one-shot deal: The plan-and-implement approach cautions us against making a move before we know exactly where we are going....It all sounds reasonable, and it is a reassuring way to proceed. Yet my research suggests that proceeding this way will lead to the most disastrous of results, which is to say no result. So if your deepest desire is to remain indefinitely in a career that grates on your nerves or stifles your self-expression, simply adhere to that conventional wisdom, presented below as a foolproof, three-point plan....what consumed 90% of the year he spent looking for a new career, is what the conventional models leave out-a lot of trial and error....that it is possible to discover one's "true self," when the reality is that none of us has such an essence. (See the sidebar "Our Many Possible Selves "for a discussion of why one's true self is so elusive.) Intense introspection also poses the danger that a potential career changer will get stuck in the realm of daydreams....We learn who we have become-in practice, not in theory-by testing fantasy and reality, not by "looking inside." Knowing oneself is crucial, but it is usually the outcome of-and not a first input to-the reinvention process....To launch ourselves anew, we need to get out of our heads. We need to act....But when it comes to reinventing ourselves, the people who know us best are the ones most likely to hinder rather than help us....Mentors and close coworkers, though well meaning, can also unwittingly hold us back...So if self-assessment, the advice of close ones, and the counsel of change professionals won't do it, then where can we find support for our reinvention?....Reaching outside our normal circles to new people, networks, and professional communities is the best way to both break frame and get psychological sustenance.
Managing_Your_Career  career_paths  career  HBR  reinvention  Second_Acts  Herminia_Ibarra  analysis_paralysis  trial_&_error  action-oriented  self-assessment  self-awareness  pragmatism  counterintuitive  conventional_wisdom  change 
august 2011 by jerryking

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