CURIOUS OBSERVATION – … first step in decision making process ( 10)

Curious observation is the first step in the decision making process. These two words, the curiosity and observation are very important for a decision making process. Curiosity means the desire to know or learn about something. A person who is curious does not accept anything easily. He always has skepticism towards everything. The curious people always ask questions and try to search the answers for their questions. Being curious can help you in taking proper decisions.

You may ask this question that, how curiosity helps in decision making process? The answer is, when you are curious you can identify the situations in which decisions has to be made on the spot or in the future. The curiosity also stimulates other processes that help you in decision making. These include questioning, inquiring about things, experimentation, visualization, skepticism, evaluation, identification of different patterns, imaginative thought, logical reasoning, prediction, inference etc. All these processes will lead you towards appropriate decisions.

Curiosity not only helps you in decision making but it will also improve your other skills and abilities. If you are not a curious person then you can arouse your curiosity by reading newspapers, magazines, books etc. indulge yourself in discussions with family and friends, attend different exhibitions and conventions, observe the things going on around you and try to make a habit of questioning about everything and not accepting each and every thing as a fact.

The other word is observation which means the ability to notice significant details or the process of observing different things in order to gather information. If you are observant then you can become a good decision maker. It helps you to identify every significant detail regarding your problem and its solution. It is important that you closely observe everything related to your problem. Note down each and every details that you have gathered through your observation. For example if you are running a company and you have to take decision that, from which supplier you will buy your products, then the first thing that will help you in decision making is through observation of the sample products. Through observation you can analyze the quality of product and then by following the further steps of decision making you can take a better decision for your company.

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So through these two things: curiosity and observation i.e. curious observation you can make your decision process easy and also effective. During the decision making process, don’t stop your thinking process and think over the problem again and again. Set your thought free and try to improve your thinking skills. Imagine and visualize the whole scenario in your mind so that you can predict the outcome of your decision. Curiosity during the decision making process will lead you to dissatisfaction and dissatisfaction will lead towards improvement in your decision making abilities. This first step of curious observation is very important step and a good decision maker always follows this step. Implement this step in your decision making process and get good outcomes.

DECISION MAKING IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD

Managers in contemporary organizations are confronted with uncertainty and ambiguity in their everyday lives. Not only do they have to contend with rapidly changing trends and fluid situations, the data they get from the ground or from market research becomes redundant with no time. This has given rise to confusion and chaos in the way organizations approach the future. This situation can be remedied by the use of scenario based decision-making where the managers draw up possible scenarios that the company might have to contend with in the short term, medium term, and longer term.

By drawing up scenarios that consist of simulations of the best-case situation and the worst-case situation, the managers would be better able to take the right decision when the situation manifests itself. The point here is that looking into the future is impossible except for oracles and clairvoyants. Hence, some sort of grip on the future must be firmed up by planning for all possibilities.

Over the last couple of years, global businesses had to contend with multiple economic shocks starting with the bankruptcy of the investment bank, Lehmann Brothers that nearly brought down the global financial system. Next, the Eurozone crisis erupted that threatened to bring entire governments to their knees. Now, we have the specter of diminishing resources and runaway inflation. In this context, it becomes important for managers to draw up scenarios that would happen with a certain degree of probability. For instance, it would be better for managers to think of the eventuality of Greece leaving the Eurozone and then planning for it accordingly. For managers in sectors that do not have exposure to financial instruments in a major way (after all, which sector is immune from financial shocks?), they can simulate models and scenarios where a war in the Middle East is predicted and then base their strategies accordingly.

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The point here is that when there is so much uncertainty, it becomes tough to anticipate events. Hence, by drawing up scenarios that simulate the worst and the best as well, decisions can be taken that would derive advantage to the organizations. When one adds complexity to the uncertainty and ambiguity that pervades the current world, one is even more muddied and muddled to take decisions. For this, managing the present, it is a challenge and hence many organizations leave future forecasts to consultants and management experts. However, this need not be the case and in-house expertise can be developed to deal with emerging scenarios.

A case in point is NASSCOM (the Apex body of IT and ITES companies in India) that has been advising IT companies in India to plan for the downturn and the possible aftershocks from the Eurozone crisis and the upcoming “fiscal cliff” in the United States. NASSCOM has also been asking IT companies to draw up scenarios for these events that if not planned for have the potential to blow up on everyone’s face. Unfortunately, many organizations are rushing into the future without any thought or idea on how they would deal with “Black Swan” events. A Black Swan event is a low probability but high impact event that can surprise people with its occurrence.

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