Renowned management thinker Henry Mintzberg and business professor Frances Westley hit zero three ways the best managers make decisions. To improve their decision making skills, entrepreneurs can start by recording that the real decisions are not always made through logical steps – and that they often should not be. Most managers believe that they make decisions by analysis. Define the problem, they say, diagnose the causes, possible solutions to design, implementation, and finally to select the choice … Read more »

Renowned management thinker Henry Mintzberg and business professor Frances Westley hit zero three ways the best managers make decisions. To improve their decision making skills, entrepreneurs can start by recording that the real decisions are not always made through logical steps – and that they often should not be. Most managers believe that they make decisions by analysis. Define the problem, they say, diagnose the causes, possible solutions to design, implementation, and finally to select the choice. But they can make their best decisions to make in other ways – for example, after a flash of intuition or by trying a few things and keep what works. The authors show that a focus on “Always” before the election can interfere with a deep understanding of the issues dividing people and prevent a good decision. A decision-making approach, the authors call “seeing first” – literally create an image with another, to see all the concerns – can surface differences better than analysis and can force a genuine consensus. “Doing first” – to get ahead with an action – is the third approach. Each route is best under certain circumstances. First think works best if the problem is clear, data are reliable, the context is structured, thoughts can be pinned down, and the discipline can be applied – for example, in an established production process. Seeing first works best when many elements must be combined in creative solutions, is the commitment to this key solutions, and communication across borders is important – for example in the development of new products. Doing initial work best when the situation is new and confusing, if complicated specifications may get in the way, and a few simple rules could help people to move forward relationship -. For example, if a disruptive technology companies face
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Henry Mintzberg,
Frances Westley
Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
7 pages.
Release date: 01 April, 2001. Prod #: SMR067-PDF-ENG
Decision Making: It’s Not What You Think HBR case solution

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