Blog Posts

Post Category: ‘Decision Making & Decision Taking’

ISO9000:2015 Strategic Direction – A strategy management perspective

Are you planning to upgrade to ISO9000:2015?  If so, this article provides practical advice for organisations wanting to establish and demonstrate the links between their Quality Management System to the ISO9000:2015 Strategic Direction requirements. In this post I look at what the ISO9000:2015 standard says about strategic management, some of the issues it raises and how to think about the …

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Thinking fast and slow: How we really make executive decisions

Last year I wrote a couple of blog posts about “Thinking fast and slow with strategy” that became some of my most visited posts.  The posts were inspired by the book by Daniel Kanhemann, “Thinking Fast and Slow”.   I strongly recommend you get a copy and read it if you haven’t already, Daniel Kahneman won a Nobel prize for his …

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Decision Making and Decision Taking: Why do we not notice the difference

In some of my other blog posts I make a clear distinction between decision making and decision taking. When we make a decision we (literally) construct that decision: decision making is decision construction. When we take a decision we commit to action: decision taking is decision commitment. You can read about the difference in my six frogs post and the …

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The six frogs and decision making

Here is a question for you: There are six frogs on a wall.  Two frogs decide to jump off.  How many frogs are now on the wall? OK, I’ll save you the embarrassment: there are six. Why? The two frogs only decided to jump off; they did not actually jump off. Sorry! First, the difference between deciding (decision taking) – …

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Helpfully stolen accountability – a lesson in delegation, accountability and decision making control

Let me tell you the story of the curious case of missing financial control. In one organisation we worked with, the objective was to develop the autonomy and capability of various business units, located in separate properties around the country.   The company ran multiple properties, around the country, where each property was designed to be a profit-making profit centre. …

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Strategy does not exist without tensions

Many years ago I realised something while working with clients on their strategy.  I realised that there were points in the strategy process and in strategy workshops, when the strategy, as explored, discussed and articulated, was clearly NOT complete.  We did not have the whole story.  Something important was missing. Then, we would reach a point, or go through a …

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Quick consensus suggests bad decisions

According to Peter Drucker, “all the first-rate decision makers I’ve observed had a very simple rule: “If you have quick consensus on an important matter, do not make the decision. Acclamation means nobody has done the homework”.  In my experience working with management teams this makes a lot of sense, for two reasons: It probably does mean that options and …

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The one test of a useful Balanced Scorecard

In my role as a Strategy and Performance Consultant, I see a lots of ‘balanced scorecards’.  In over 20 years, from my early days working for Norton &  Kaplan I have seen most variations and alternatives. I have a set of tests for the balanced scorecard I see.  A set of tests that tell me a lot about how they …

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Decision making and diagnosis: A cautionary tale from a management team

In our six stage decision process the decision framing or situation diagnosis stage is one that is easily stepped through too quickly.  A move that can be disastrous.   A recent client experience highlighted for them, and me, the importance of this stage. Working on the strategy with an experienced management team, we were discussing how new technology companies were stepping …

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Levels of decision – potholes on the decision making road

One of the components of good decision-making is to recognise the level of decision you are dealing with, and particularly levels of sub-decisions, within a decision.   In this article we are going to explore ‘Level 2 decisions’ that sit within a top-level decision. An example will illustrate level 1 and level 2 decisions. One client was an industry research body …

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