So how good is your decision making?
Making decisions is a constant challenge whether at home or at work. Whether you are Steve Elop as the incoming CEO of Nokia choosing which operating system to bet your business on, or choosing the perfect present for someone you love, when the stakes are high making the right decision is never easy.
In fact the more important the decision is the harder it is, then the greater the danger that you might fall into one of the three most deadly decision making traps. So here’s the top 3 deadly mistakes and some advice to help you make great decisions no matter how high the stakes.
- Confirming Evidence – While it is natural to gather evidence that supports your point of view, it can also cause problems in the decision making process. Talk to a friend or colleague to find out what their perspective is, hopefully it will shed more light onto the subject. You also want to avoid just seeking advice from working with people who always agree with you, if they always agree with you who is going to play devil’s advocate?
- Status Quo – Nobody likes dealing with change, but change is often necessary in order to grow. It is always easier to make decisions that allow things to remain the same, but those are not always the right decisions. Avoiding this mistake is as simple as asking yourself if the old way is best for your goals, you must downplay your desire to keep things the same though. Get out of that comfort zone!
- Anchoring – Accepting the first information you find is normal, but can leads to some dreadful decisions. While it is OK to be incorporate this information, you must also remain open minded for additional perspectives. Even if the information is screaming at you that it is right, never settle on that information without first checking other sources. Gather as much information as needed and you can rest assured that you will always make the right decision!
Some books that you might find helpful
- Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions by John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney and Howard Raiffa
- Winning Decisions: Getting It Right the First Time by J. Edward Russo and Paul J.H. Schoemaker
- The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making (McGraw-Hill Series in Social Psychology) by Scott Plous
- Primer on Decision Making: How Decisions Happen by James G. March
- Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions by Gary A. Klein
- Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and
How to Keep it From Happening to You by Sydney Finkelstein
So will things work out for Stephen Elsop and Nokia?
Nokia announced their new range of Windows powered smartphones today. So we’ll find out soon if Stephen Elop (ex-Microsoft senior insider) was guilty of the ‘Confirming evidence’ trap when choosing to bet the farm at Nokia on going with Microsoft, rather than the Android, smartphone operating system. Take a look at the first reviews of their new Lumia 800 and Lumia 700 phones at Engadget and see what you think?