According to Dominic Barton, CEO of McKinsey & Company, the ability to critique colleagues openly facilitates better decision-making. The obligation to dissent has been a core strategic value since the consulting firm’s founding in 1926.
Daniel Kahneman’s research shows that most decisions, even those that may feel “rational,” are largely based on intuition. To avoid errors, leaders can learn to recognize the situations where intuition is likely to lead them astray in order slow down and instead appeal to collective intelligence. Based on Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman (Penguin, 2011), Judgment Calls: 12 Stories of Big Decisions and the Teams That Got Them Right, by Thomas H. Davenport and Brook Manville (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012) and Dominic Barton, CEO, McKinsey & Company, January 2013.
“The ability to make decisions is not a personality trait, it is a mental state that changes with time,” warns John Tierney. Even the best managers are subject to decision fatigue … and thus bad judgment calls. How can you resist falling victim? Do not rush, trust your intuition, and share the decision-making process with others! A synthesis of several publications, accompanied by interviews with Dennis Cooper, former air traffic controller of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), currently a psychologist for the Department of National Defence (Canada), and Thierry Boiron, president of the Boiron group, October 2011.
There is no healthier challenge than taking advantage of a good crisis! It gives leaders the opportunity to ensure their strategy is in line with today’s world, to identify weaknesses in their leadership, and to identify undesirable behaviors in their teams (which become more exaggerated under stress). Based on What to Ask the Person in the Mirror, by Robert Steven Kaplan, Harvard Business Press, July 2011.
Why do some people withstand pressure better than others? Because they have acquired the skills that allow them to limit its negative effects. Working on yourself and practicing make it possible to confront even the worst squalls with greater serenity. Based on Clutch by Paul Sullivan (Portfolio, September 2010), Shine by Edward Hallowell (Harvard Business Review Press, January 2011) the interview with Laurent Combalbert, former negotiator for RAID and founder of Ulysceo andon articles from McKinsey Quarterly and Harvard Business Review.
How can managers keep their teams boosted with the energy they need to deal with both ordinary stress and more serious crises? Heike Bruch et Bernd Vogel give us the answer.
Tools and established processes are supposed to be performance factors, but they often lead to paralysis instead. Hackers are those who know how to sidestep them to benefit the whole company. Based on Hacking Work by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein (Portfolio, September 2010) and the interviews with Gary Koelling, director of emerging platforms at Best Buy, and Kumar Sharma, former business solutions consultant at Infosys, IT services consultant in Bangalore (India), October 2010.
Leaders who know how to take the right risks at the right times are key drivers of business success. Based on an article by Mehdi Ramdani, Business Digest, March 2010, and the interviews with John Ranieri, VP DuPont BioMaterials, and with Scott McKelvey, head of Air Products’ Technology Growth Center (United States), March 2010.
How to prevent wrong decisions ? Based on “Think Again,” by Sydney Finkelstein, Jo Whitehead, and Andrew Campbell, Harvard Business Press, February 2009, and the case study of Boots, taken from the book website, http://thinkagain-book.com/Website, and the interview of Miguel Angel Ariño, professor and head of the managerial economics department at IESE (Spain), April 2009.
Finkelstein, Whitehead, and Campbell dissect this decision-making process into its tiniest details. This analysis allows the authors to identify the red danger zones in which Steve Russell and his team found themselves trapped.