Effective complex business decisions are threatened by many potential biases When it comes to (very) complex business decision making, we are not only confronted with the risk of ineffective interactions in meetings, but also with the risk of falling individually and collectively into different decision making biases. These biases are now well documented in the recent field of behavioral economics1. So it is also proven that the following subconscious biases do directly impact many, many business decisions2:
- Fight silos by helping your team members to evolve their behaviors Henry, the head of the management team of the technology group of a worldwide IT company, was concerned about the mistrust between his team members and their silo mentality behaviors: they were always giving more priority to the results of their own departments, even at the expense of the overall results of the whole technology group. Henry asked us to run 3 half-day team-building sessions to strengthen mutual trust and reduce the silo behavior of team members.
- Lack of meeting structures creates weak decision making processes Few subjects do trigger a quasi unanimity in business and one of them is: meetings are too often a waste of time! Just observe your next meetings and you will rapidly see that the reality diverges frequently from generally accepted good practices: Good meeting practices Frequent meeting reality participants remain on one subject until some agreed type of closure participants change subject before any apparent closure group clarity on “diverging” (to brainstorm & share ideas) versus “converging” conversations unclear mix of “diverging” and “converging” (to take decisions) conversations air time captured by one/few participant(s) air time actively distributed to everybody almost every agenda item gets addressed many agenda items are delayed to next meeting(s) everybody can speak without being interrupted interruptions do happen Daniel, the Finance director of a large European country organization of a global software company, was looking at the yearly employee survey for his department.
- Using hierarchical control for alignment & collaboration is killing creativity Since they exist, almost all companies are using hierarchical control to ensure alignment and collaboration. The same companies need also creative employees at every level in order to thrive or just to survive! We know that self-management is the first and most important driver of human engagement and creativity: this has been proven since the 80s in psychology research1 and in real companies2.