Saturday, September 12, 2020

Decision Making Process during VUCA.

Following situation is the new normal now, however if it would have been 3 months back, what would have been your response?

Imagine the situation where you come to know that your 25% employees are infected with the virus. There is a panic situation outside the organization because of increased pandemic. Employees & managers are worried. Your management has to take the decision about the continuity of the operations considering employee safety. Your plants need to run, otherwise it will have a major impact on the business. On the other side, the government has their own rules to handle such things. Media may be behind you hence your reputation is at stake. You have to take care of employees; engage with union and society; think about business and need to take few decisions as a leader or you have to facilitate the decision-making process in the organization in such crucial periods.    

I think most of the leaders have gone through such situations. During heightened VUCA (with high Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambitious) situations, normal decision-making process can break down. Some people become paralysed and afraid to act however few others make quick decisions based on emotions or bias rather than fact.

During such uncertain situations, our decisions may be affected because of a lot of information, which is not authentic, contradictory views of experts, (like virus spread through air also), bias information shared by some people, media, politicians etc. During the decision-making process, we may overreact on certain information or overestimate or underestimate based from where it is coming. If there are infinite, clue less information, you may not be able to think rationally.

So? During such situations, it is always good to focus on the purpose and specific alternatives step by step. You may need to brainstorm with the team of decision makers to get more information, knowledge, you need to know before moving forward. Formulate the right question (for others and yourself) that will help you to get the right answers.

Once you get all answers, classify the information in the following format.

Behaviour & Feeling: This is a human dimension where you will understand the feeling sideof the information and consequent behaviour. During covid19 situations people become worried (feeling) and hence they are demonstrating frustrations (behaviour) & then they share weird information is one of the examples of this.  Sometimes this is just the reaction based on the nature of the person. 

Opinion: People generate their opinions after the situation. The opinion may be biased again based on certain assumptions and nature of the person.    

Knowledge: This part is easier to understand; however, you need to be aware about the situation fully. The covid19 infection in India is around 4.46 million but the recovery rate is around 75%. knowing this data and interpreting it, is the knowledge.           

This practice will help you to bring the diverse perspective and the variety in the decision-making process. This will also help to address your immediate emotional response.       

There are other tools which you can try in your team like Six Thinking Hats to generate more alternatives and  Weighted Criteria Assessment for better decision making.

Sometimes some decisions need strong intuition and you can read more about here Intuitive Decision Making

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organization)

Please read the print replica of my latest book written for leaders on amazon kindle; Vitality in Human Resource  


Syed Raza said...

Vinod’s articles are deep, thought provoking and easy to digest. I also look for our Indianised version of VUCA thru our old relics as we were the best educators, great philosophers and what not, is there any great book which one can refer for Indianised management rather then west - looking forward to deep dive on our past

Anurag Rai said...

Interesting read Vinod . I agree in any decision making situations “ purpose and context “ will be vital.

Anonymous said...

Thank You For Writing This Article gave a lots of information.

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