Business decisions in unfamiliar environments

Business decision making

We live in a constantly changing world, where our approach is the key to our evolution. The diversity we encounter every day is pushing us to continually make decisions, creating new solutions and curiously adapt to new environments.

But when we cannot adapt mainly because when we do not make sense of new situations, we develop various behavioural patterns in the decision-making process:

We follow others that made the same decision. Often, the others followed others as well. Following others makes us feel safe and familiar. But is it correct to follow others’ judgment with no understanding of cause and effect?

We get stuck in the decision-making process. It happens when we do not make sense of what we need to do: we do not follow others, but we do not make our own decisions either. Here we perceive a risky situation in both directions. Getting stuck with a decision will ever solve the problem?

We make the wrong decision. At the time of the decision, everything feels normal, but later on, we see things do not go quite right, and the result of our choices becomes obvious. It happens mainly because our approach to the problem follows the same pattern of problem-solving that we used in the past to solve problems. Will undesired results help?

When it comes to business growth in challenging environments, the overwhelming majority may be wrong.


Mapping a problem and using a model in making sense of the environment

Simple problems are no problems at all; let’s call it daily inconveniences. We know the relation between cause and effect, and we solve the problem quickly with a few resources. The decision is predictable: we know what we know, we act and get things done.

Complicated problems are problems we perceive as having a high level of difficulty. The cause and effect are separated. We must make sense of these problems in an initial phase, to be able to initiate actions. These are things we know we don’t know, and we have to analyse to reveal them. Decision making takes time.

Complex problems are problems with multiple components that we do not make sense of at the first encounter. The cause and effect do not follow a predictable pattern. Here we deal with things we don’t know we know until and unless we probe, and this is how we respond to the challenge. The decision making takes time, as well.

Chaotic problems are problems where we do not know what we do not know. We did not predict these environments and never encountered anything similar. Here we have to take actions in a trial and error pattern to test what happens, and when what happens start to make sense, we can make decisions. Approaching these problems usually involves a long learning curve.

The future is defined by what we decide in the present. The present is made out of things we know and the things we don’t know. Correct decisions will create the future we want to live. 

The only way you can stay away of biases when making important decisions is to avoid deciding alone. BRIDCON can support and share an out of the box view.

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