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Decision Making For Dummies(R)


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 About This Book 1 Foolish Assumptions 2 Icons Used in This Book 3 Beyond the Book 4 Where to Go from Here 4 Part I: Getting Started with Decision-Making 5 Chapter 1: Big-Picture Pressures on Decision-Makers 7 Making Decisions in an Ever-Changing World 7 The ground shifting beneath your feet 8 Assessing what these changes mean to you 11 Embracing Uncertainty and Unpredictability 12 Increase integrity and truth-telling 13 Notice what is happening on the innovative edges 13 Don't limit planning to an annual task 14 Make your decision-making process values-based 14 Cultivate learning and curiosity 14 Invest in your personal and professional growth 15 Raising the Integrity and Ethics of Business Decisions 15 Overcoming factors that lead to unethical decisions 16 Designing a healthy decision-making environment 17 Chapter 2: The Key Ingredients for Effective Decisions 19 Distinguishing the Different Kinds of Decisions 19 Strategic decisions 20 Tactical decisions 21 Operational and frontline decisions 21 Identifying the Different Decision-Making Styles 21 Recognizing the Workplace Environment and Culture as a Force 23 Mapping your company on the innovation curve 23 Accounting for company organizational structures 25 Assessing the health of the workplace 30 Developing the Decision-Maker: To Grow or Not? 30 Knowing thyself 31 Avoiding temptations that obstruct sound decisions 31 Chapter 3: Company Culture and Decision-Making 33 Recognizing the Importance of Company Culture 34 Paying attention to invisible forces 34 Assessing your company's mindset 36 Spotting addictions in company culture 37 Creating High Performance Workplaces for Decision-Making 38 Paying attention to long- and short-term focus 38 Using smart design to speed up decision-making 39 Paying attention to working relationships 42 Assessing Risk and Its Impact on Decision-Making 43 Understanding how humans perceive risk 43 Working with risk in a complex world 46 Part II: Knowing and Growing Yourself as a Decision-Maker 49 Chapter 4: Growing Your Business by Growing Yourself 51 Connecting Personal Growth to Effective Decision-Making 51 Exploring vulnerability as a leadership quality 53 Having compassion for the ego 54 Tapping into emotions for effective decision-making 55 Recognizing How Beliefs Influence Decision-Making 57 Examining your beliefs: Do they limit your options? 57 Understanding how you perceive insight, intuition, and vision 60 Acknowledging hidden bias or prejudice 60 Gauging Personal Comfort with Conflict and Ambiguity 62 Using conflict to your advantage 62 Understanding classic responses to conflict 64 Chapter 5: Raising Self- and Organizational Awareness for Better Decisions 67 Understanding How You Make Decisions 68 Instinctual decision-making 68 Subconscious decision-making 68 Belief-based decision-making 69 Values-based decision-making 70 Values-driven decision-making 70 Comprehending the Value of a Deeper Intelligence 71 The link between your heart and your head in decision-making 71 Putting this knowledge to work 72 Reducing Stress to Make Better Decisions 73 Manager, manage thyself 74 Managing the manager 75 Practical ways to reduce stress in working relationships 76 Chapter 6: Learning from Mistakes and Unintended Consequences 79 Engaging in Reflective Learning 79 Identifying blind spots in the decision-making process 80 Learning from decision errors and disasters 80 Turning Hindsight into Foresight 81 Monitoring implementation and assessing risk 81 Foreseeing inadvertent effects of a decision 83 Listening to feedback from key suppliers and customers 84 Implementing other's ideas wisely 85 Stopping to see the big picture 86 Overcoming persistent problems with procurement 88 Building Character and Credibility through Mistakes and Failure 91 Accepting personal responsibility 91 Separating good judgment from judging others 91 Communicating authentically 92 Reinventing your self-identity 93 Part III: Jumping In: The How-to of Decision-Making 95 Chapter 7: Understanding Intuitive Decision-Making 97 Getting the Lowdown on Intuition 98 Defining intuition 98 Unraveling myth from fact 98 Knowing how intuition differs from impulse and fear 100 Understanding the benefits of intuitive decision-making in business 102 Understanding How Intuition Works 103 Processing incoming data 103 Forming patterns from cues 104 Building Up Your Intuitive Powers 105 Identifying your intuitive strengths - the mechanics 105 Improving your intuitive intelligence 108 Uncovering procedures that interfere with intuition 110 Removing the risk of overwhelm 110 Balancing the Rational with the Intuitive 111 Chapter 8: Laying the Groundwork for All Decisions 115 Reviewing the Essentials for Sound Decisions 115 Identifying purpose 116 Seeing ahead: Clarifying the endpoint 118 Determining timing: Why now? 120 Assessing commitment: Your own and your colleagues 124 Calculating the risk and impact of doing nothing 126 Deciding Who Decides 128 Factoring in management style and working environment 128 The buck stops where? Authority and responsibility 129 Investigating Decision-Making Models 130 Relaying top-down decisions: The command-and-control style 131 Using consensus 132 Building a Team for Participatory Decision-Making 134 Chapter 9: The Nitty-Gritty: Walking through the Decision-Making Process 135 Clarifying the Purpose of the Decision 135 Identifying the reason for the decision 136 Taking a tactical or strategic approach 136 Taking the Blinders Off: Eliciting All Relevant Info 137 Doing your research 137 Gaining some distance to stay objective 138 Paying attention to different perspectives 139 Separating fact from speculation 140 Including feelings as information 140 Knowing when you have enough 141 Sifting and Sorting Data: Analysis 142 Conducting your analysis 142 Critically evaluating your data 143 Making assumptions intentionally . . . or not 144 Establishing and weighing criteria 145 Avoiding analysis paralysis 148 Generating Options 150 Avoiding the one-option only trap 150 Broadening the option pool by tapping into others' creativity 150 Vetting your top options 152 Assessing Immediate and Future Risk 153 Identifying risks 153 Considering people's response to risk 154 Mapping the Consequences: Knowing Who Is Affected and How 156 Making the Decision 156 Communicating the Decision Effectively 157 Implementing the Decision 158 Putting together your action plan 159 Deciding what is important: Metrics 160 Setting priorities 162 Learning from the implementation process 162 Decision-Making on Auto-Pilot: Intuition in Action 164 Grasping intuitive decision-making 164 Taking a closer look at intuition in different situations 165 Chapter 10: Tackling Various Types of Business Decisions 167 Visionary Decisions: Getting a Grip on Direction and Focus 167 Strategic Decisions: Moving from Here to There 168 Making high-level strategic decisions 169 Applying strategic thinking to lower-level goals 170 Adjusting your strategy as necessary 172 Operational Decisions: Seeking Out Efficiencies 172 Going to frontline employees for ideas 172 Making operational decisions: Things to think about 174 Financial Decisions: Raising and Protecting Your Cash Cow 175 Securing financing 175 Sustaining cash flow 176 Avoiding the five most common financial errors 176 Problem-Solving Decisions: Getting to the Root of Issues 177 Uncovering and addressing the root cause 177 Tackling problems creatively 179 Making Partnership and Joint Venture Decisions 180 Determining whether to pursue a joint venture or partnership 180 Chapter 11: Exploring the Decision-Making Tool Kit 183 Adopting an Approach That Gets Engagement and Results 183 Differentiating between authority and power 184 Powering up a more engaged workforce 185 Engaging in Formal Decision-Making Methods 186 Using negotiation to make mutually acceptable decisions 186 Seeking consensus 187 Using Participatory Decision-Making Tools 189 The Gradients of Agreement tool 190 Dot voting to gauge opinion and progress 193 Visualizing consequences, relationships, and ideas: Mind mapping 196 Chapter 12: Strengthening Relationships with Employees and Customers 199 Improving Well-Being at Work 200 From happy employees to loyal customers: Creating a ripple effect 200 R.J. Allen Construction, an example 201 Recognizing the Consumer as a Change Agent 203 Keeping an eye out for trends 203 Chatting up consumers 204 Reconnecting Business to Customer Service 204 Bridging the gap to connect to your customers 205 Getting inside the customer's head: Empathy mapping 206 Using social media to obtain feedback 208 Focusing on what's important to the customer 209 Promoting Communication with Customers and Employees 210 Establishing intention and value 210 Calculating the benefits of communication 212 Setting goals for your interactions 213 Delving into Information-Gathering Methods 214 Tools and techniques for formal consultation 214 Establishing informal information-gathering channels 217 Part IV: Making Decisions in Various Roles 219 Chapter 13: Becoming a More Effective Decision-Maker 221 Upping Your Game: Transitioning from Area-Specific to Strategic Decisions 222 Highlighting strategic decisions 222 Avoiding the perils of micromanaging 225 Moving from specializing in one area to working across functions 228 Displaying Character through Decision-Making 230 Mirror, mirror, on the wall: Taking a close look at yourself 230 Using defining moments to build character 231 Handling yourself when things go wrong 232 Improving Your Decision-Making by Becoming a Better Leader 234 Differentiating between leadership and authority 234 Using your power for good 235 Being a leader good enough to ask the tough questions 235 Creating Safe and Stable Workplaces 236 Adapting your management style 237 Taking steps to improve the quality of the working environment 238 Being the leader you expect to see in others 240 Chapter 14: Making Decisions as a Manager 243 Recognizing the Changing Role of Manager 243 Embracing your role as change agent 244 Adapting your management style 246 Choosing Your Leadership and Management Styles 249 Looking at leadership styles 250 Using authority effectively: Different styles for different situations 251 Dealing with unmet expectations 253 Chapter 15: Making Decisions as an Entrepreneur or Small Business Owner 255 Knowing What Makes You Tick 256 Identifying your entrepreneurial qualities 256 Gaining clarity on your values and philosophical foundations 257 From Flying by the Seat of Your Pants to Putting Systems in Place 259 Moving from multitasking to building a team 260 Deciding how work gets done 261 Staying aware of your decision-making process 262 Taking Steps When the Thrill is Gone 264 Step 1: Figuring out what you want 264 Step 2: Ascertaining where your business is 265 Key questions when you still can't decide 266 Part V: Applying Decision-Making Skills to Specific Challenges 267 Chapter 16: Using Change to Achieve Personal Fulfillment 269 Reinventing Yourself after a Setback 269 Changing your mindset after a setback 270 Taking the first steps to a new future 271 Gaining Clarity on Your Passion, Purpose, and Direction 272 Using a vision board to gain clarity 272 Testing your commitment to a decision: Visualization 275 Going my way? Choosing your path 275 Strengthening Your Resiliency 277 Assessing the state of your personal spirit 277 Viewing your whole life as a lesson in leadership 281 Chapter 17: Facilitating Participatory Decision-Making Meetings 283 Clarifying Your Role in a Meeting 283 Distinguishing among facilitating, moderating, and chairing 284 Letting go of attachment to a specific outcome 286 Meeting Preparation Basics 286 Establishing the purpose of the meeting 286 Identifying reasons to meet 287 Putting together a bare-bones plan 287 Choosing a formal or informal meeting structure 288 Putting Together a Meeting Plan for Complex or High-Stakes Decisions 289 Step 1: Stating the overall goal and metrics 289 Step 2: Putting together a framework for the meeting 290 March 25, 2015 5:26 PM Step 3: Assigning tasks in preparation for the meeting 290 Step 4: Structuring the meeting with a meeting plan 291 Running a Productive Meeting 293 Getting on the same page with an overview 294 Keeping the meeting on track: Dealing with group dynamics 295 Tools to Help You Facilitate and Manage Meetings 299 Structured round table: A tool for gathering perspectives 300 Visual and group collaboration tools for meetings 300 Chapter 18: Making Decisions about Partnerships and Joint Ventures 305 Understanding the Different Partnership Structures 306 Looking at partnerships 306 Examining joint ventures 306 Determining Mutual Benefit 307 Thinking through partnership potential 308 Mapping out gains and value in joint ventures 309 Assessing the fit 312 Finalizing the Agreement 316 Communicating Productively during the Venture 317 Focusing on trust 317 Using conflict to advantage 319 Testing Trust, Courage, and Cooperation When the Going Gets Tough 320 Chapter 19: Setting Ethical Standards 321 Defining Business Ethics 321 Looking at ethics in business 322 Falling from grace: Unethical business practices 323 Understanding Pressures That Lead to Unethical Decisions 325 External pressures: The changing nature of business 326 Internal pressures: Working conditions and relationships 327 Eliminating conditions that lead to ethics breaches 328 Setting Formal and Informal Standards 330 Developing a formal code of ethics 330 Establishing an informal code 332 Common Concerns: Dealing with Supply Chains and Health and Safety 335 Reducing workplace hazards 336 Bringing the supply chain up to ethical standards 337 Part VI: The Part of Tens 339 Chapter 20: Ten Tips for Decision-Making in Uncertain Situations 341 Check Assumptions 341 Stretch Out of Your Comfort Zone 342 Ask Profound Questions 342 Learn from the Past 343 Listen Deeply 344 Shift Perspectives 344 Move From Inertia to Action 345 Pay Attention to What Your Heart Tells You 345 Embrace the Unpredictable 346 Work with Risk Differently 346 Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Improve Decision-Making 347 Find Your Inner Calm 347 Know When to Follow Plans and When to Co-create 348 Keep Your Mind Nimble 348 Focus on the Mission 349 Innovate through Disruption 349 Tap into Your Intuition 350 Learn from Mistakes 350 Keep an Open Mind 351 Balance the Intuitive with the Rational 351 Pay Attention to the Workplace 352 Chapter 22: Ten Secrets behind Ethical Decision-Making 353 Employees Feel Respected and Happy 353 Relationships Are Built on Trust 354 The Focus Is on Collective Achievement 354 The Right Things are Rewarded 355 Minimum Compliance Isn't Enough 355 Good Character is Important 355 Everyone Leads 356 Principles and Values Guide Action 356 Attention Is Given to Workplace Culture 357 Trust Is the Underlying Value 357 Index 359

About the Author

Dawna Jones generates imaginative insights and applies 25 years experience in helping businesses and organizations make bold decisions. She co-designs the future of organizations, transforming them from business-as-usual to inclusive cultures of prosperity.

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