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THE LEADER FRAMEWORK

“Good outcomes are what we desire, whereas good decisions are what we can do to maximize the likelihood of having good outcomes”

J. Celona e P. McNamee

THE RELEVANT CONTEXT

We are all Decision Makers, both at work and in private life. We make around 35,000 decisions every day from the simplest to the most difficult; for the simple ones we use the empirical rule, based on experience, but for the difficult ones we could use decision-making processes that involve more people, with specific skills and knowledge, supported by tools that facilitate decisions, and allow to create value.

Yet even in decisions which contemplate great complexity and uncertainties, many of us rely on our own experience.

Will it be the right choice?

Why today, more than ever, must we have a proven and reliable decision-making process, so that people can decide with confidence, consistency and commitment in a world full of uncertainties and great volatility?

The reason is simple: we miss many opportunities because we are Humans. It has been widely proved in the past 30-40 years and by various psychologists – Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman among others – that, when a person has to make a decision in an uncertain situation, they will mostly use “intuitive thought” resorting to heuristics, that is to mental shortcuts deriving from our evolution, which lead to biases and to wrong decisions, rather than taking advantage of creative, inclusive, rational processes.

Indeed, there is much evidence that the brain is naturally inclined to prefer being in its comfort zone, in situations where it can control everything; it also has the tendency to simplify reality based on its mindsets, to refuse alternatives and underestimate risks.

Confident in our abilities our decisions

  • are often based on intuition, namely irrelevant, non-reliable or inadequate information.
  • rely on advocacy culture and presume that we reached a quality deal, excluding other alternatives a priori. We don’t really know what we lost
  • address the problem in a wrong way and end up facing the wrong problem
  • don’t look for the greatest realizable value, because we are used to the “good enough” syndrome and stop at the first, or the second, option we are provided
  • are sabotaged by biases, emotions, and false hypothesis subvert rational thinking

Managing a team, a department or a company to succeed means making fundamental decisions firsthand, evaluating others’ and exposing yourself giving valuable pieces of advice. And you have to do this in the context we live in now, rapidly changing and unpredictable. Often with a tight deadline and not enough information. In such situations, it is often counterproductive relying on intuition and on your usual techniques to solve problems. By doing this, we fall victim to unconscious biases that hinder our ability to make the best decisions.

To make a better choice in our real world, we cannot ignore the awareness of our human nature, that is fallible or we make mistakes. And the greater the complexity, the greater the mistakes.

WHAT IT MEANS TO MAKE QUALITY DECISIONS

Some research helps us understand the importance of making better decisions.

Decision-making  drives 95% of the business performance (Source: Bain & Company)

Only 15% of the global business population feels “engaged”(Source: Gallup)

According to Fingertip (www.fingertip.org)

  • 59% of employees find decision making #1 problem at work
  • 51% of decisions are not aligned with the organizational strategy
  • 33% of work time is spent on waiting decisions to be made

It turns out that making quality decisions, always consistent with Corporate Identity and Strategy, can make a difference in a highly volatile and uncertain world.

To make a Quality Decision means

  1. Asking the right questions and not giving the correct answers; otherwise, there is a process of advocacy with employees and colleagues, thus losing many opportunities. About 80% of decisions are made by intuition or advocacy. Think about how much value, assumed as an opportunity, is dispersed. Asking the right questions leads to a mitigation of the main cognitive biases – Overconfidence, Confirmation Bias, Anchoring and Groupthink –(1)
  2. Engaging the right people working on a shared goal means fostering diversity, which implies looking at the problem or opportunity from different points of view to enrich the initial idea
  3. Recognizing that your idea is as valuable as that of others (intellectual honesty), then evaluating the different scenarios (different strategies and business models) allows you to increase the chances of success and reduce risks
  4. Gather reliable information on these scenarios and evaluate them simultaneously with the values and risks to have a decision based on logic and not on intuition, and identify the one that generates the highest Value
  5. Choose not the one that attracts us or our boss, but the most consistent solution with the goal set, with the corporate identity and strategy in place

By acting in this way, we have eluded many of the mental traps our brains experience every day:

  • preference to solve problems in the comfort zone, according to what we know – experience
  • tendency to simplify reality according to one’s mental patterns
  • preference to reject alternatives, as it is complex and confusing
  • tendency to underestimate risks because we feel confident in what we know
  • tendency to selfishly choose the most straightforward way

THE LEADER FRAMEWORK

Have you ever wondered how your manager figure will have to change to:

  • create more inclusive, confident, grateful, open and impartial behaviors and become a sustainable leader yourself?
  • make things happen and at the same time improve business performance with the help of all and have an impact on society and the environment as well?

The Leader Framework derives from the open multidisciplinary methodology Lean Decision Quality® (https://www.stratego.life/en/lean-decision-quality ) based on Neuroscience – how people commonly make decisions – and Science of Prescriptive Decisions – how people should make decisions -.

The Leader Framework is a visual strategic tool for everyday use to enhance and systematize Collective Intelligence – Integrated Thinking – to always find the best possible solution and maximize the value of our decisions (investment).

A framework that both managers and collaborators can use to ask the right questions, give sense and awareness to what you are doing, involve strategic stakeholders, ask yourself the possible alternatives, reflect on what is known and what is not and, finally, how to put together knowledge, alternatives and desired values to make a quality decision.

To better understand The Leader Framework, a brief description of Lean Decision Quality® is given, also called the decision wheel. It’s made up of five steps:

  • the first 4 steps represent the decision-making process, from the definition to the objective development up to the taking of a decision
  • the tread consists of Identity – Vision, Mission, Culture & Structure – and Corporate Strategy and it accompanies the goal along its entire path to generate a continuous alignment
  • Step 5, Commitment to Act, is a fundamental step to transforming an alternative’s potential value into real value, passing from thinking to acting.

The Leader Framework, the synthesis tool of Lean Decision Quality®, allows us to define goals, purpose, stakeholders, alternative strategies, and choices clearly. Used recursively it enables you to develop a strategic and systemic mindset.

It consists of three questions:

  1. What are we going to do? -> corresponds to our real goal (e.g., launching a product, making an event, opening a new store, evaluating a new production plant, buying a machine, founding a startup, creating a company spin-off, entering a new market, etc.). “What” corresponds to the strategy of the target
  2. Why are we doing this? -> corresponds to the purpose of the goal (what we want to achieve: increase sales, profit, my production, my brand awareness, my eco-sustainable impact, etc.). “Why” corresponds to the goal we want to achieve, both in terms of Vision and in terms of analytics (numerical objectives), asking us what the context is behind the choice.
  3. Is it consistent with Corporate Identity and Strategy? -> corresponds to the question of whether the goal is aligned with Vision, Mission, Values, Skills, Structure and Strategy in place. A non-alignment would lead to doing something useless for the organization. Of course there are always exceptions. If I revolutionize my business, the question to ask is how should my eventual mission, skills, structure and strategy change?

Note: It often happens to confuse What with Why, as Vision and Strategy are unclear or have not been shared. Objectives not well defined generate confusion both for those who define them and those who receive them.

The Leader Framework allows us to have quick and immediate feedback on our daily decisions without leaving anything to chance.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

The Leader Framework has a “structured visual approach” that allows you to share goals and strategies, which can sometimes be challenging to explain or understand, in a more straightforward and intuitive way.

Below are real cases that allow the immediate understanding of the framework to be able to replicate it independently both in business and in private life, on all occasions that provide allocations of financial and temporal resources.

The purpose is always to find the best solution, which maximizes the value of our decision (investment).

WHY USE THE LEADER FRAMEWORK

  • Effective: Enable lateral, analytical and systems thinking, necessary to always maximize the value of your investments, minimizing risk and complexity
  • Replicable: thanks to its versatility and adaptability, it can be replicated in all the decisions you need to make yourself, and easily transferred between colleagues, with partners and customers
  • Fast: reduces decision-making time without affecting the effectiveness of decisions and shortens execution time, thanks to the active involvement of stakeholders and the streamlined and essential structure of the framework
  • Easy to use: an easy, visual, flexible decision-making approach, with enlightened questions, step by step, guides you towards the goal and actively involves your team in decision-making processes, creating a climate of trust, respect and responsibility
  • Crystal-Clear: defines a common business language that facilitates clear, compelling and transparent communication between stakeholders, avoiding possible misunderstandings
  • Engaging: activates Collective Intelligence and allows you to identify risks, reduce complexity to quickly find solutions to complex problems, and seize the best opportunities
  • Consistent: guides you in making decisions that always align with your company identity and strategy, avoiding image damage and waste of resources

Having a method means pursuing a goal, having a logical order and a plan, to reach the purpose you want to get to. The method enables you to always move forward, progress, go beyond, explore, evaluate, decide, grow and get better.

As Stewart Brand says: “We can try to change people’s minds, but we’re just wasting time. Let’s change the tools in their hands, and we change the world”.

RESOURCES

The goal of The Leader Framework is to help people engage in strategic and systemic thinking daily, in a recursive way, as well as to understand the exact organizational and neurological dynamics that govern the making of more sustainable decisions, inclusive and profitable, both in business and in private. This results in boosting self-esteem and a strong incentive to develop potential to accelerate performance, productivity, and motivation to do.

MOVE FOREWARD