Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Problem Solving and Decision Making (101-slide PowerPoint presentation). We make decisions and solve problems continually. We start making decisions before we even get out of bed (shall I get up now or not?). Sometimes, we will have made as many as 50 decisions by the time we leave for work. Despite all the natural decision making that goes on and the problem [read more]
Making the Right Decision: Is your Decision Making Style Giving You the Results You Want?
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Decision making is the selection of a procedure to weigh alternatives and find a solution to a problem. There is no right or wrong way to making decisions. Yet, decisions can always affect organizations. It is important that organizations understand how Decision Making Styles can affect the ultimate result.
The Decision Making Survey
A new research was conducted by McKinsey to offer insight into how to play up our strengths and compensate for weaknesses when we are the one calling the shots. This survey on Decision Making is a systematic approach towards determining Decision Making Styles of leaders.
To develop a language for improved business decision making, a series of questions were asked to measure individual preferences. A score was then provided that covers 6 classes of decision-making biases.
- Pattern Recognition
- Action Orientation
- Social Harmony
- Self Interest
- Use of Process
The responses fell along a range from a strong preference for intuitive decision making to a strong preference for making decisions after exhaustive deliberation.
The 5 Decision Making Styles
The 5 Decision Making Styles is the fundamental framework towards serious leadership calls
Decision makers have particular ways of working. There are also actions that should be taken to keep tendencies from undermining intent.
The decision analysis of 1,021 responses yielded 5 groups of Decision Making Styles.
1. The Visionary
Visionaries are high action-oriented, have low stability, and have low use of process. They are the champion of radical change with a natural gift for leading people through turbulent times. They are the people organizations can expect to lead in transformation and have the ability to maintain morale during times of great change.
However, sometimes in a rush, they may be too quick in turning to the wrong direction. A Visionary can only be sustainably effective when there is a good balance of action, stability, and process.
Visionaries comprise only 14% of the total population of the survey.
2. The Guardian
The Guardian has a high risk of stability bias and high use of process.
A model of fairness, a Guardian preserves the health, balance, and values of the organization. With carefully planned and sound decision-making process, many facts are considered and incorporated as much as possible by the Guardian.
On the other hand, a Guardian can be blind to a desperate need for change.
Guardians comprise 22% of the total population of the survey.
3. The Motivator
The Motivator has a high risk of pattern recognition and self-interest bias. They can be a compelling leader for change with an excellent ability to build alignment. The Motivator is your organization’s strong and charismatic storyteller.
However, because of their self-interest bias, the Motivator may believe the vision at the expense of facts. In the end, they get caught up in their own hype and ignore red flags.
Motivators comprise 12% of the total population of the survey.
4. The Flexible
The Flexible is balanced and has a low risk of biases. They have the tendency to be low on action and average on other areas. However, they are the most versatile of leaders. They are comfortable with uncertainty, open minded in adapting to circumstances, and willing to involve a variety of people in the decision making.
On the other hand, the Flexible has the tendency to explore too many potential solutions and decision outcomes. This can lead to paralysis by analysis and inaction.
The Flexible is 25% of the total population of the survey.
5. The Catalyst
The Catalyst is high on action but average on others. They are a true champion of group decision making and implementation. The most balanced of decision makers, they are relatively resilient to the biases inherent in the more extreme decision-making preferences.
However, being in the middle of the road decision style, only average results are delivered. A Catalyst may always get it right but they rarely hit it big.
The Catalyst is 27% of the total population of the survey.
The Decision Making Style we employ will always affect the people we work with and the results we want to achieve. In the end, organizations have to understand that there are critical management decisions that need to be done even if faced with limited information at hand.
Interested in gaining more understanding on the different Decision Making Styles? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about 5 Decision Making Styles here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
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About Joseph RobinsonJoseph Robinson is the Vice President of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is the marketplace for best practices in business management. Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. The documents at Flevy (https://flevy.com) are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, and Accenture. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience. Flevy covers 200+ management topics, ranging from Digital Transformation to Growth Strategy to Lean Management. You can peruse a full list of management topics available on Flevy here. Prior to Flevy, Joseph worked as an Associate at BCG and holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. You can connect with Joseph on LinkedIn here.
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