You’ve heard of the domino effect right? You know, when one thing leads to another. So, there was a thumping great drop on the economy, caused by the credit crunch, which then became the global recession, which then triggered cut backs on a large scale with many organisations making thousands of people redundant, closing loss making divisions etc. Anyway, one of the things I expected to see was a 'call to action' from the CEO's office, for the buyers to get busy and contribute their bit. I’m sure this has happened in many organisations but I’m not sure it has happened on the scale that it could and maybe should have done. Last year was maybe the year when all the major cost cuts were made, the people, the marketing, the overheads - now maybe it’s the turn of the buyer to do their bit. So to all you buyers out there; get knocking on the CEO's door to let them know you are ready to do your bit - before the domino drops............. on you.
Recently I’ve been thinking about how people and organisations take decisions (I have my reasons……. oh yes indeedy). As I ‘row my little boat around the big pond of business’, trying to keep it afloat whilst battling to get to the other shore (I know, I know – metaphor fatigue alert) these things called decisions ‘come up’ and I find it really interesting to see how people handle them. Howard Raiffa’s views (he’s a Harvard dude) on this are summarised, quite neatly by Sean Silverthorne in his Blog post ‘Avoid Four Deadly Traps in Decision Making’. Howard talks about ‘Anchoring’ (relying on your first thoughts), ‘Status-Quo’ (carry on carrying on), ‘Confirming Evidence’ (see what you want to see) and ‘Framing’ (coming at it from the wrong angle – either by accident, which is dumb, or by design which is plain old manipulative). I see these approaches in use quite often; you know who you are, put that business case down! Also, somebody once told me that humans are ‘hard wired’ to use the ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ decision making process. People are actually pretty clever machines building up a knowledge bank of experiences, insights, ideas and beliefs as they grow up and when it is called on to make a decision the human mind is very quick at matching that situation with its data bank of other stuff. This is because people were originally ‘hunter-gatherers’ and occasionally became the hunted giving us that useful ‘fight or flight’ thing and so when something stressful happens our reactions are often automatic. That way, you can save yourself from being eaten up by a nasty old sabre toothed tiger, but the trouble is, there aren’t that many sabre-toothed tigers around the typical office (there are a fair few sharks, some ostriches and even a few kangaroos though); so people are making decisions about hiring, firing, wiring and aspiring (see what I did there?) before they have got all the facts, you see? – ‘Ready, Fire, aim’, get it?
Go to: 'Avoid Four Deadly Traps in Decision Making'