Fast Decision-Making vs Quality Decision-Making

February 18 2019

It’s the best and worst of times for decision makers says McKinsey. “Swelling stockpiles of data, advanced analytics, and intelligent algorithms” are providing organisations with powerful new inputs and methods for making all decisions.

However, as Erik Larson points out in this piece for Forbes, decision-making practices have not kept up with the times. Despite that data we have at our disposal, decision-making is “lost somewhere in the flurries of electronic messages and cluttered whiteboards of overbooked conference rooms”.

Research published in Fortune magazine  that studied 23,000 employees found that 60% must consult with at least 10 colleagues each day to get their jobs done and half need to consult with more than 20 colleagues. Collaboration and communication are key to good decision-making, but it’s got to be efficient.

Our clients need to be able to make fast decisions without compromising on quality.

Fast and robust answers

At one of our recent roundtable events we asked HRDs about the types of Board-level strategic people questions they’re under pressure to answer quickly.

“We need a way to better inform the bid team” said one participant. “Through the bid team we work with investors, investment banks and financial services organisations that need an instant response. There is a people element to their decision-making process that we in HR need to cost. Turnaround times always tight.”

Other participants had similar burning questions for which they need fast but robust answers:

  • What’s the profile of labour, pay, availability of talent in the market?
  • Where are people with certain coding skills? And how can we attract them and possibly relocate them?
  • We may want to relocate to Frankfurt, Dublin, Paris or Milan, how can we be ready for Brexit?
  • Who else is advertising for the same roles and what packages do they offer?
  • How can we create a risk assessment for a certain business unit? For example, leaving Frankfurt for Krakow?
  • What employment law, unionisation, regulatory issues, immigration laws might affect our decisions?

At the moment, many businesses struggle to make these decisions. In some cases, the availability of data has led to “decision paralysis while all the numbers are crunched” and no decision is made.

In other situations, decisions are made but not always the right ones: 72 percent of senior-executive respondents to a McKinsey survey said they thought bad strategic decisions either were about as frequent as good ones or were the prevailing norm in their organisation.

Using tech to make the right decisions fast

Companies need an approach to strategic decision-making that “shifts a company’s culture from decision avoidance and delays to exciting, innovative progress”. I’d like for this to have people-centric decisions at the fore since they are the most important and often the most neglected!

Returning to Erik Larson’s thoughts in Forbes, we need to move away from a way of operating in which “each corporate decision is told, morphed, and repositioned through a tangle of meetings, emails and presentations…..and the worst part is that everyone is doing their absolute best to get it right, they just don't have enough information to do so.”

This is one of the reasons we developed Stratigens. Whatever the risks and opportunities, Stratigens can provide the people insight that enables strategy, planning and delivery from a talent point of view. We enable clients to predict human capital trends and visualise the future.

We offer up the information that was missing from people-centric decision making – quickly, in a useable format, and in a way that enables collaboration with colleagues.   

Whether you are entering a new market, consolidating locations, launching a new product or simply expanding your business horizons; our incisive analytics platform and consultancy provide collective intelligence for informed decision-making.  

We help commercially-minded leaders put people at the heart of every strategic decision.

To find out more about Stratigens and to see a demo of our platform, please contact me. I’d love to show you what we’re working on.