Essences Of Decision Making

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Information about Essences Of Decision Making
Business & Mgmt

Published on February 17, 2009

Author: zeuch



A short and compact white paper on the essences of decision-making: How can you use professional intuition and "Nichtwissen" (read the paper to learn more about this term...) for an effective culture of decision-making?

The Essences of Decision-Making Intuition, „Nichtwissen“ and Decision-Making DR. ANDREAS ZEUCH cell +49.(0)160.79 38 807 | email: | web: | | podcast:

The Essences of Decision-Making ‣ You can not not decide: Every single perception, thinking and acting is a decision. ‣ To look in one direction means to exclude other visual data. ‣ To think one thought means to exclude another one. ‣ To act in one way means to exclude another action. ‣ You can dissolve this exclusion only in time: One by one. © ANDREAS ZEUCH 2009

The Nature of Decisions ‣ Every decision is made by rationality and intuition. ‣ There is no pure rationality nor intuition. You can imagine these opposite poles as a throttle: It‘s possible to scroll your style of decision-making in either one or the other direction. But you will never reach the final points. Intuition Rationality © ANDREAS ZEUCH 2009

Incomplete Information: Basics ‣ Most decisions have to be made on the basis of incomplete information. ‣ Especially in complex systems there is no such thing like complete information. ‣ Paradoxically, the lack of information regarding to the relevant data you would like to obtain will grow in knowledge-society. © ANDREAS ZEUCH 2009

Incomplete Information: Less is more ‣ The quality of decision-making is unproportional to the amount of gathered information ‣ The ratio of amount of gathered information and quality of decision-making is a bell-shaped curve: Up to a certain point it will increase then decrease. + Quality of Decision - + Amount of Informationen © ANDREAS ZEUCH 2009

Consequences I: Professional Intuition ‣ Therefore and because of the following aspects it‘s no luxury but necessity to develop the professional intuition of your employees. ‣ Intuition is a basic function of every human being. It‘s rooted in implicit knowledge, subliminal perception and information processing and mirror neurons. ‣ But: Intuition is ressource and risk! ‣ Experience and perception can lead to errors (e.g. Anchor-Heuristic) ‣ Judgements can be distorted by the „Halo- and Devil-Effect“: Deducing an overall assessment from one single attribute. ‣ For this reasons it‘s important to learn to distinct between functional and dysfunctional intuition © ANDREAS ZEUCH 2009

The Meaning of the Term „Nichtwissen“ Nichtwissen is the German term for quot;absence of knowledgequot;, including conscious and unconscious aspects of not-knowing. In contrary to ignorance it does not automatically feature not wanting to know, which could be seen as a special subtype of quot;Nichtwissenquot;. Errors and misconceptions are other contributing subtypes of quot;Nichtwissenquot;. © ANDREAS ZEUCH 2009

Consequences II: Constructive Culture of Nichtwissen ‣ It‘s important to develop a constructive culture of „Nichtwissen“ ‣ Because of the growing daily lack of information. ‣ Because every knowledge produces new Nichtwissen. Remember your time at the university: After having written your thesis you know, what you‘re not knowing (Important distinction: conscious and unconscious Nichtwissen!) © ANDREAS ZEUCH 2009

Consequences II: Constructive Culture of Nichtwissen ‣ Nichtwissen is not a problem only. It‘s a deep ressource for creativity and innovation, too. ‣ Become „Open Experts“: Work hard on your expertise and respect it but stay flexible to look with beginner‘s eyes on your questions, problems and challenges. ‣ Respect the question. Every good answer is rooted in a better question! ‣ Anchor intelligent methods of communication like Dialogue-Rounds, Open Space as regular and permanent learning cycles in your organization. ‣ Learn from your errors. There is no error-free organization (even if Fredmund Malik demands it...). Errors will happen. They‘re not intended. Otherwise it would be sabotage. © ANDREAS ZEUCH 2009

Consequences III: The organizational model ‣ Every hierarchical, central command-and-control Organization will kill the intuition of its employees. There is no space for a constructive culture of Nichtwissen. ‣ To create an ideal context for the described necessary decision-making culture the Beyond-Budgeting model is a great choice. ‣ And on the other side: Beyond-Budgeting claims intuitive employees and leaders, and a constructive culture of Nichtwissen. © ANDREAS ZEUCH 2009

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