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What Matters More in Decisions: Analysis or Process?

https://fs.blog/2013/03/what-matters-more-in-decisions-analysis-or-process/

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What Matters More in Decisions: Analysis or Process?

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The quality of our decisions

The quality of our decisions

We all make decisions. However, few of us realize that the process we use to make decisions is more important than the analysis we put into the decision.

A McKinsey Quarterly survey pointed out that 60 percent of executives thought that bad decisions were as frequent as good decisions.

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Analysis doesn't always lead to good decisions

When it comes to decisions, organizations rely on gathering data and analyzing the decision. People believe that analysis reduces biases, but most business decisions made this way turned out to be poor decisions.

Research shows that good analysis from managers who have good judgment won't necessarily produce good decisions.

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Process over analysis in decision making

Analysis alone does not yield good decisions as the people who put it together have a subconscious bias and interest in a particular outcome.

Instead, a disciplined decision process involves guarding against decision-making biases by exploring and discussing major uncertainties or discussing contradictory viewpoints.

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To explore or to exploit

To explore or to exploit

One challenge in life is knowing when to explore new opportunities, and when to focus harder on existing ones. Do we keep learning new ideas, or do we enjoy what we've come...

Exploring vs exploring: Consider how much time you have

When we consider seizing a day or seizing a lifetime, it is important to understand the interval over which we plan to enjoy them.

Explore when you have the time to use the resulting knowledge, exploit when you're ready to cash in.

Minimizing the pain of regret

Regret is the result of comparing what we did with what would have been the best.

We can minimize regret, especially in exploration, by trying to learn from others. In new territory, we can best prevent regret with optimism because we'll explore enough so that we won't regret any missed opportunity.

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Memories: Our Sense Of Self

Memories, the vivid remembrances of our past, can be highly subjective. Most of us assume that memories are rigid and infallible, but they can never be the exact representations of the past because...

Memory And Learning

Our memories are a major component in our learning process, and all knowledge that we accumulate is stored in memory. Effective learning happens when we hook something that we learn to something already in our memory, in a meaningful context. This creates a strong learning network in our brain, giving birth to innovative connections and fresh ideas.

Being passionate and committed towards our learnings also eliminates the need to cram up stuff.

Memory And The Art Of Building Narratives

  • We all have old memories that we dearly hold on to, and these early remembrances form our life’s narrative, the story we tell ourselves.
  • These fixed memories provide us with feelings of nostalgia and make us happy when we listen to old songs or see old pictures.
  • New memories reinforce what we already think about ourselves, as these memories become personal and subjective for us.

The spiral of silence

The spiral of silence

The spiral of silence is a human communication theory developed by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann in the 1960s.

The theory explains how societies form shared opinions an how we make deci...

How the spiral of silence works

According to the theory of the spiral of silence, our desire to fit in with others means we will speak up if we think our opinion will be popular, or avoid expressing an opinion if it is unpopular.

The feedback loop means each time someone voices a popular opinion, the positive feedback from the group reinforces the feeling that it is safe to do so. Conversely, receiving a negative response for a divergent opinion will strengthen the view that they should avoid expressing it.

The implications of the spiral of silence

  1. The result of the spiral of silence is that few will publicly voice a minority opinion and will instead will nurse it in private.
  2. The possibility of conflict makes us less likely to voice any opinion. If we want to know what people think, we need to remove the possibility of negative consequences.
  3. When we see a sudden change in mainstream opinions, it can be because of a shift in what is acceptable to express, not what people really think.
  4. Highly vocal people of a minority opinion can make their views seem far more prevalent and acceptable than they really are.