Presentation on theme: "Tools for Success: Making Great Decisions in Your Career and Your Life"— Presentation transcript:
1Tools for Success: Making Great Decisions in Your Career and Your Life
2A quote from George Canning 1770-1827, British Foreign Secretary: “Indecision and delays are the parents of failure.”
3The world is constantly throwing opportunities at people, and they react as best they can. Hey, I heard one of your old classmates got a position in London. Maybe she can get you a job?One of the incoming class had to back out, and there is a spot open in the fellowship. Should you try and grab it?Your Chair just invited you to be on a committee. But you are already fully booked, and is this the right committee for you?I just heard your significant other is moving to Paris. Are you going to move as well?
4What makes decision making difficult in your organization?
5Decision making is difficult for two main reasons: Clarity & AlignmentIt is difficult to obtain clarity on the course of action which will deliver the most of what you want.It is difficult to achieve alignment between all of the players who will play a role in translating the decision into realized (rather than potential) value.
6Who are the players and what do they want? Objectives:ObjectivesWho are the players and what do they want?
7Structuring:ObjectivesHow are we defining the decision, and how are we going to go about making it?Structuring
8What is the full range of action open to us? Choices:ObjectivesChoicesWhat is the full range of action open to us?Structuring
9What do we know, and what don’t we know? Knowledge:ObjectivesChoicesKnowledgeWhat do we know, and what don’t we know?Structuring
10Quotes from Clayton Christensen (Author of the Innovator’s Dilemma): “How can you make sense of the future when you only have data about the past?”You have to have a viable perspective about why things might turn out differently than they did last time“The higher you go up the hierarchy, the less information is available.”Data is heavy. It wants to go down, not up, in an organization.Information about problems sinks to the bottom, out of the eyesight and earshot of senior managers.
11How do each of the things we can do rate on the things we want? Evaluation:ObjectivesHow do each of the things we can do rate on the things we want?ChoicesKnowledgeEvaluationStructuring
12Is everyone needed for successful execution aligned and committed? ObjectivesIs everyone needed for successful execution aligned and committed?ChoicesExecutionKnowledgeEvaluationStructuring
13A decision is an irrevocable allocation of resources. If you decide, and then decide again when it is time to invest, you never decided the first time.
14People, Culture, and Decision Process: ObjectivesChoicesExecutionKnowledgeDo we have the right people involved, and are we making this decision in a way that makes sense for us?EvaluationStructuringPeople, Culture, and Decision Process
15Who should make the decision? The decision team should be explicitly identified, rather than implicitly assumed.The decision team should be the smallest group at the lowest level such that if they collectively agree they are unlikely to be overruled.Getting decisions made at the right level requires delegation, trust, and empowerment.
16Which attribute limits the quality of a decision? ObjectivesChoicesExecutionKnowledgeEvaluationStructuringPeople, Culture, and Decision Process
17We use a simple scale to judge the readiness for decision making – the traffic signal. Red means stop. There is not yet sufficient understanding to make a quality decision. At this stage you probably do not know the correct questions to ask.Yellow means proceed with caution. Making a decision now is risky as there is much yet to do. The answers you have are now are not yet solid, and may continue to change.Green means go. You have done sufficient work to make the decision. More work to refine will not be worth its cost. You have credible answers to most of the key questions.RedYellowGreen
18Focus the conversations on moving the reds to yellows and the yellows to greens. Meeting 1Meeting 2Meeting 3Meeting 4ObjectivesYellowGreenStructuringChoicesRedKnowledgeEvaluationExecutionPeople, Culture, & Decision process
19Pale Green Spring Green Forest Green Dark Green Getting to deeper shades of green on an attribute doesn’t help if other attributes are red or yellow.Pale GreenSpring GreenForest GreenDark Green
20The one page decision quality diagnostic: What are we are trying to maximize?Have we considered the key objectives of each of the major players?Does everyone understand and agree on the givens?Where does this decision fit within our organization’s priorities?Do we have more than one choice, or is it “do it or don’t do it?”Is everything mild, or do we have a touch of wild?What are our key knowledge gaps?What is the most interesting thing we think we know?How does each alternative rate on the things we care about?Have we specified how we will measure the results after we choose?Does everyone understand what has been decided, and are they aligned and committed to making it happen?What are the potential stumbling blocks for execution?Is it clear who will make the decision and what the process will be?What cultural challenges arise from our selected choice?ObjectivesStructuringChoicesKnowledgeEvaluationExecutionPeople, Culture, & Decision Process
21What happens when you treat a decision project as a process? The decision process is really a project with a start, a middle, and an end.There are two types of people and two types of jobs in this world:Project people and jobs are used to dealing with things that have a start, a middle, and an end. Then they move on to the next activity.Process people and jobs are not used to ending things – their jobs go on indefinitely.What happens when you treat a decision project as a process?
22A quote from Mario Andretti, race car driver: “If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.”
23We address objectives by identifying the players and what they want. Identify the categories of players relevant to the decision. Players might include:Create a table with the players as columns, and the rows being their objectives from most to least important. Typically 3-5 rows will cover the important objectives.PatientsNursesPhysiciansEmployeesUnionsHospital managementDepartment managementGovernmentsRegulators
24Who are the players and what do they want? HMOManagersPhysiciansAs WorkersMembers(Patients)Cost effectivenessPhysician commute from homeQuality of medical carePhysician satisfactionPhysician access to colleagues at existing hospitalMember driving timeMember satisfactionTotal compensationEase of patient parkingImportantMostWhat Do They Want?ImportanceLesser
25Some of the objectives may be treated as constraints rather than criteria. How would you trade off safety with $? Environmental damage with $? Quality of patient care with $?Rather than treating safety and the environment as objectives to be traded off, consider treating them as constraints – any alternative we consider must meet all relevant safety and environmental rules and regulations.
26Objectives – who are the players, and what do they want? (I) WifeHusbandLocation with nice weatherHarriet’s commuteAttractive home and groundsAccess to nature / outdoorsLarge enough should we have kidsLeo’s commuteReady to move in – no major projects requiredImportantMostImportanceLesser
27Who are the players, and what do they want? ImportantMostWhat Do They Want?ImportanceLesser
28A quote from R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983) US architect, author: “A problem adequately stated is a problem well on its way to being solved.”
29The Decision hierarchy: Decisions to Make in This Effort The givens are phrased as explicitly and provocatively as possible to get clear reactions from the decision makers.Take as GivenDecisions to Make in This EffortThe working team commits to come back to the decision makers with insight and recommendations on all of the decisions in this category.Typically there will be 5 +/- 2 decisions to make now.The hold until later category contains the additional decisions which must be made for successful execution once the main choice has been made.Some of these decisions may be huge, but they should not be made until after the “focus on” decisions have been made.Hold Until Later
30A decision hierarchy focused our effort: We are looking to buy, not rent.We will not make an offer for more than $X. We will make only serious offers that demand attention.Neither average commute will be greater than 40 minutes.We will not live in a fog belt.We are not fixit type of people, and need a new or recently remodeled house that is ready to go.Take as GivenNumber of BedroomsCity / SuburbQuality of ViewDecisions to Make in This EffortMinor fix-ups (what to do, who to do them)LandscapingHold Until Later
31Go out on a limb with your givens so people can agree or disagree with them. Useless given:We like nice weatherValuable given:We will not live in the fog belt.
32The decision hierarchy: Decisions to Make in This Effort Take as GivenDecisions to Make in This EffortHold Until Later
33A quote by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair: “The art of leadership is not saying Yes, it’s saying No.”
34To address quarterly and annual focus, use the leadership agenda: Take TheLeadAbove the LineGuideHands-OffBelow the Line
35The leadership agenda must be tied into your personal and team calendars. Take TheLeadPaper: Should we Exit lightweight coated (LWC) markets worldwide?Building: Engineered building materials strategyBuilding: Defend Dodesville lawsuit aggressivelyThese items appear on the weekly / monthly team meetings.Above the LineNew Business strategy: energy trading companyEnergy: Plan for exploring & developing the Eileen basinBuilding: Improve opportunities from pull-throughBuilding: Use new customer database to increase responsiveness of sales forceGuideForests: Plan for filling timberland age gapsBuilding: Investment in expansion into AustraliaForests: Improving regulatory relationshipsForests: Benchmark silviculture costs and reforestation policies of competitorsPaper: Improve effectiveness of JIT inventory management programBuilding: Operational improvement in WaitakiThese items are not allowed on your calendar.Hands-OffBelow the Line
36A quote by Mahatma Gandhi: “A “No” uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a “yes” merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.”
37How to give a positive “No”: A positive No is a Yes! No. Yes?Yes!Express your interests, Internally focused.No.Assert your power with respect.Yes?Further your relationship, Externally focused.Example: I appreciate your asking me to help out on this. But I am currently focused on a major effort which I have committed to deliver in the next two months. (Yes!) Because of this I am not taking on additional projects right now. (No.) But if you would like my help after this effort is finished I would be happy to consider it. (Yes?)The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes, William Ury
38A quote from Bill Cosby, Comedian: “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
39What should be on your leadership agenda? Take TheLeadAbove the LineGuideHands-OffBelow the Line
40About Leo Hopf:Leo Hopf works with senior executive teams to bring clarity and alignment to their most pressing strategic issues. He teaches “Decision Making in Organizations” to graduate students in the Management Science and Engineering department at Stanford University and similar topics to executives at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business where he has been named a Fellow of Executive Education.He is the author of the forthcoming book “Rethink, Reinvent, Reposition: 12 Strategies to Make Over Your Business.”Hopf’s client engagements have included efforts to design the decision making and strategic planning processes for five of the Fortune 100 largest companies. He has led major consulting engagements in Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Kuwait.Hopf earned a Masters of Business Administration degree with highest distinction from the Amos Tuck School, and has B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.