Making Better Decisions

Individual differences and complex business decisions

Decisions are made by people. Because we are all unique, with our own personalities, lived experiences, and biases, we each process information and make decisions differently.

An article in the Irish Times discusses decision making in the context of the changing world of work, and in terms of individual differences. The complexity and uncertainty in our environments and the pace of change seems to be increasing, which can make effective decision-making an even more rare and valuable skill.

In this article, they emphasise that there is no one best personality type that will make a person more effective at decision making. Research on risk taking and decision making has found that in the general population, there is an even distribution of different approaches to risk taking, which is crucial to our survival as a species.

Organisational Culture and Structure

Understanding our individual differences in how we approach decisions can be liberating and can help organisations to manage its culture. The Irish Times article makes reference to the financial crash when discussing the impact that corporate culture can have, in terms of it being able to help or hinder decision making and risk taking. When we are faced with risk, we tend to be less risk averse and try to “gamble our way out of trouble.”

This article also mentions the importance of the ability to influence others, because being able to make a decision is of little use unless you can get others on board. In the current climate where many organisations tend to have flatter structures and leaders are less reliant on positional power or hierarchy, it is necessary to bring others with you in your decision making. People tend to have different preferences in the ways they influence others, so again understanding oneself can be of great value.

Interested in learning more?

If you’re interested in developing an awareness of individual differences in decision-making or influence styles in your organisation, or would like to become certified in scientifically valid and reliable tools which explores this, contact us at info@kinchlyons.com or call +353 1 2788 727. We have an upcoming certification in the Risk Type Compass on 17th January 2019, as well as online accreditation programmes available on demand for the Influence Style Indicator and Change Style Indicator.