There are a number of different decision making models. Knowing the one(s) you are using in a given situation is the first step to better and more cost effective decision making processes. It will also help anytime you want to cast your vote.
Many decisions you make at the office have an element of the ‘future.’ The ‘U-process’ from Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer at MIT, is an especially useful decision making model for future oriented questions.
At times, when a team makes a decision the members experience a sense of being ‘uplifted,’ when the sum is more than the sum of its parts. Otto Scharmer’s research shows that these high level decision making processes meet certain essential conditions such as motivation, trust and shared vision. Using his methods, the group develops a deeper, collective learning while making decisions about the company’s future.
This is another decision making model we notice in businesses – all the different parties fight each other with the intention of reaching the best possible outcome for the organization. The focus is less on the issue at hand and more on the individual parties and their negotiations, give & take, and compromises.
More often we notice that people, mostly un-aware, use the emotional model, whereby the often dominant emotion of fear leads to risk avoidance and subsequently postponement of decisions.
Groupthink can also result from individual risk avoidance, when the group takes a decision an individual member would never take and which carries no individual responsibility.
Even a small increase in EQ helps to curtain the negative consequences of this model.
Garbage Can Model
This is probably the most popular decision making model around: every individual does what he or she thinks is best and it’s anyone’s guess what the results will be.
With this model the results of the different options are calculated. Not everything is easily calculated, but with some effort the team can make a lot of headway.
Taking Out The Trash
Lots of research has been done about decision making processes and lots more will be done in the future. In the meantime, what is it that you think? At your office, is the Emotional model used a lot? Are we ready for a new model, like the U-process?