Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A somewhat unified view of decision making: part 4

Complete, somewhat unified decision model

I promised to clean up some loose ends. What are they?

  1. How do you do this stuff, really?
  2. Where does Tom Peters fit in?

If you're like many companies, you're set up to make decisions and take action, but you're not necessarily set up to spend much time on explicitly increasing your Actionable Insight (or whatever you more informally call it). You may feel that some of the decisions you face tax the limits of your or anyone else's ability to make sense of them. You may feel you lack the time to get involved in something with the name "action research"; after all, you have a business to run.

That's where an outsider can often help. Such a person can often see things with fresh eyes and may have developed approaches you don't have the time to develop or maintain internally.

For example, I've helped others make sense of complex issues, gain insights, and test potential decisions using system dynamics simulations, and I've got other systems approaches available, in case the first ones we try aren't a great fit.

I've led project retrospectives as a light-weight way for organizations to learn more effectively from their own experiences, and I co-developed a popular set of learning logs to help guide personal as well as group improvement activities.

If we were to work together, you wouldn't lose control over the decisions you make. I'm just there to help you make sense of the situations you face, to help you test the alternatives you might want to try, and to learn more effectively from your experiences.

If you know someone facing complex issues or trying to figure out better ways of making progress, have them give me a call or send me an email. If it's you who is facing those challenges, I invite your call or email, too. Either way, there's no obligation and no charge for an initial conversation.

Now where does Tom Peters fit in? There's one more stock, Willingness to Act. We can have great, high-quality insights, but we don't do anything until we actually step up and do something. Tom is fond of saying we should just get on with it. I encourage you to take a look at some of his books and presentations to get more ideas and inspiration in building up your Willingness to Act. Don't accept everything he says at face value (I certainly don't), but do think seriously about it, and apply what works for you (it may be more than you think!).

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