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Archive for decision-making

Business Meetings

Your Business Meetings

Even if your company is working hard on inclusiveness and diversity, it is important to pay attention to how you get everyone equal ‘floor time’ in the meeting. How do you do that?

One way is to use silent and anonymous idea generation. Hand out a pile of sticky note paper or 3×5 cards. Challenge everyone to come up with a minimum of 5 ways to solve a problem you’ve been working on or a new way to market a declining product. No talking and no sharing during this initial thinking and writing time.

Then all ideas get put up equally on a flip chart or white board. Organize by categories or similarity.

All ideas are valuable, some will work on their own. Most will work better in combination with others on the board. Some can be expanded by discussion.

You may decide to organize the ideas by how long they would take to do a trial or to implement in general, or by cost, effort, or ROI. You may even decide to try out the most outrageous first because standing out is better than blending in and being boring.

Growing your knowledge and sharing it

Are you listening to and reading from people you believe are smarter than you on the current subject? If not, how do you learn anything new?

Constantly growing and learning makes you a better person and then others can grow and learn from you.

We each have areas in our life where we have spent the time and effort to become more expert while there are other areas and topics where we will benefit from seeking to learn from others.

Your learning becomes more valuable, even to you, when you
Don’t forget to share
With someone, somewhere.

Mental Models for better & easier solutions

Mental models
Why do some people find ‘simple’ mathematics problems so impossible. I used common fractions for my research but it wouldn’t matter which specific concept I had chosen.
The answer I discovered and proved was that children and adults alike, who had a mental model of the concept, could solve the math problems. Those who didn’t were using rote rules that had no meaning, no models in their mind, so they made mistakes or gave up. They often could follow the rules successfully as long as the next problem looked exactly like the last one. If presented a problem that looked different, they couldn’t picture how to modify the rules, they couldn’t see where or how it matched up to the last one or something they had seen before.
Mental models are built by drawing, building with objects, and imagining.
One type of mental model that can help with thinking clearly and making strong decisions is the mind map. It helps you brainstorm lots of options and then it organizes those options for consideration.

Contentment vs Impatience

We normally think that the opposite of impatience is patience.  For the moment I’d like to ask you to be open to the idea that the opposite of impatience is contentment.  When you are showing patience you are waiting for another person to finish what they are doing or saying so you can have a turn.

When you are content to listen or watch and learn and are not waiting for your turn, you are being the opposite of impatient.  How good it can feel to be content to listen and learn, to think about what you are observing or hearing.  Contentment can feel wonderful and its feeling can spread to others in the room.

 

About Hazel

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Hazel Wagner, PhD, MBA, CMC, Professional Speaker, Author, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Brain Facilitator

ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS
PhD, MA, BA Mathematics
MBA International Marketing & Finance
Taught in MBA Programs for Kellogg Graduate School of Management, DePaul Graduate School of Business, and Cardean

BUSINESS CREDENTIALS
15 years in the Computer Industry: GE, Digital Equipment Corp.

CONSULTING CREDENTIALS
14 years consulting for start-ups through F100 companies, Certified Management Consultant

INTERNATIONAL SPEAKING CREDENTIALS
Sales Meeting kick-offs and keynotes, workshops, seminars for worldwide companies, American Management Association, National Speaker Association, American Marketing Association, Singapore Executive Management Seminar, AMA Tokyo, CMC Canadian Management Centre.

YOUR CREATIVITY GENIUS

Yes, genius.

Everyone has it yet most people describe themselves as having no creativity.

As children we were all free to try anything.  I decided to draw on the wall behind a door in our apartment.  I felt proud of my colorful

scribbles until my mother discovered it.  And, yes, I was punished.  I think they had to paint the whole wall.

We are all creative in our own way.

Not all creativity comes from big leaps.  Often small differences can make big differences.

Creative ideas that turn out to be useful are innovation.

The pet rock was creative but its usefulness, as a joke, was limited.  As a result it didn’t have much usefulness, nor innovation.

Allow room for your creative genius to think, grow, and try things out.

Let us know your thoughts on YOUR CREATIVITY GENIUS. You can email us at Hazel.Wagner@b9d.com

About Hazel

shapeimage_2

Hazel Wagner, PhD, MBA, CMC, Professional Speaker, Author, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Brain Facilitator

ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS
PhD, MA, BA Mathematics
MBA International Marketing & Finance
Taught in MBA Programs for Kellogg Graduate School of Management, DePaul Graduate School of Business, and Cardean

BUSINESS CREDENTIALS
15 years in the Computer Industry: GE, Digital Equipment Corp.

CONSULTING CREDENTIALS
14 years consulting for start-ups through F100 companies, Certified Management Consultant

INTERNATIONAL SPEAKING CREDENTIALS
Sales Meeting kick-offs and keynotes, workshops, seminars for worldwide companies, American Management Association, National Speaker Association, American Marketing Association, Singapore Executive Management Seminar, AMA Tokyo, CMC Canadian Management Centre.

 

Have you ever made a decision and then feared it was the wrong one?

Businesswoman pain

Have you ever made a decision and then immediately started to second-guess yourself? You likely kept going back over the problem and how you solved it and then began to have doubts.

Or maybe you developed a great solution to a work problem only to find that your associates and boss don’t see it your way and you can’t figure out how to convince them with your logic that you can see so clearly.

If you have been following my writings and speeches for a while you know that decision-making is one of my main topics. I work with groups to help them sharpen their decision-making thinking and their tools for explaining their results.

I just finished reading “How the Wise Decide” by Zeckhauser and Sandusky. They spent years researching the subject by interviewing great leaders. In a sense they have given me proof to quote for the methods I have been advocating for some time. This should give you extra comfort in applying these techniques.

I definitely recommend the book.

The authors culled the principles into 6 main categories.

  1. Go directly to the source yourself. Even though the leaders they studied ran very large organizations and had tremendous responsibilities, these leaders said that instead of taking all their information filtered through their reports they felt the need to gather some of their intelligence directly from the source, the customers, suppliers, or others.
  2. Seek out people who will not be afraid to tell you that you are wrong. Use advisors with enough diversity of backgrounds and thinking styles to allow you to see your topic from several different viewpoints. These leaders wanted to see and hear opinions challenged (but not personal attacks).
  3. Treat risk as one of the parameters to be compared not something to be avoided. Also very interesting: reward good decisions even when the end result doesn’t work out. We can’t know which is the best decision out of alternatives but we can compare and choose good decisions. Openly discuss failures and missteps to learn from them, not to blame. When I was in direct sales I sat down with my manager and team to go over what I had done to try to win a sale and what had gone wrong. We could all learn from my mistakes instead of descending into denial.
  4. Keep the organization’s vision front-and-center. Make decisions based on whether or not it moves the organization closer to the vision
  5. “Listen with purpose.” My expression is to “listen for meaning.” Both descriptions help you focus on what is being said in a way that allows you to understand and paraphrase back.
  6. Be transparent in leading your organization. Share how and why decisions were made. Challenges, vision, and mission guide the leader as well as everyone else in the organization.

One more point I would add, the best decisions are not one-time unique situations but are made up of a series of smaller decisions that are part of an overall strategy.