Leadership in the Moment of Decision by Narayan Pant at INSEAD Knowledge on 16 June 2014.

Even when surrounded by loads of data, it can be difficult for leaders to make the right decision (or even simply make a decision due to ‘paralysis by analysis’).  This article provides some background on how you are never likely to get all the answers – the answer simply does not magically appear  like a yellow brick road.  Instead, you have to go with a mixture of the data, your advisors and your own intuition.  How do you develop intuition?  The author provides four aspects:

  • Practice (simulations help you do this without exposing yourself to real-world risks – be careful about using your customers as guinea pigs…)
  • Feedback (this comes from many angles including consultants, advisors, your followers and your customers)
  • Reflection (this can be tough – people tend to not like bad news.  Thinking about what just happened, however, will help you make you aware of the various factors at play and will help you in the future)
  • Coaching (not only should you get a coach for yourself, but you should be a coach for your followers).

What a great article!  I love how the process loops back to the beginning.  As you begin coaching your followers, you start implementing your own practice strategy, leading to better decision-making abilities for all!  I normally don’t like longer quotes, but I’m including it here so you can see how well this article is crafted:

“Have you ever felt flattered because a successful CEO seemed to be very interested in your conclusions on some subject? Did you get the impression that she was probing your assumptions, trying to really understand how you came to your conclusions? Well, she was probably practicing how she would make the very decision that you had just made. Try it yourself. Get into conversations with people you think know something about their subjects. Probe their beliefs. Understand how they draw conclusions and ask yourself whether you would make similar decisions.”

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