Sunday, 3 June 2012

Decision making models, a necessity to help you "shape" the future

These models are not something new, as a procedure "Decision making" exists since the time that the first human had to choose between A and B, not recalling exactly the date, imagine how far back in time i have deliberately travelled you though.

As we progressed in time, among others that were revolutionised, decision making also was improved and instead of having to choose between A and B in the simplistic example above, more complicated things, circumstances, questions and problems were in need of the best decision to be made.

There are plenty of situations that a decision is required, the importance of it may vary, the weight of the impact might be also different depending on the decisions made.

There are moments requiring fast decisions to be made due to an urgency, unexpected things have come up, and there are decisions that have the "luxury" to be made without time pressure, instead there is "significance" in the decision itself e.g might be responsible for the change of the rue on a small Business, an entire organisation, a nation, the whole planet.

Once a decision is made and the implementation of it is becoming reality the affects of that decision can lead to good or bad situations.

This is exactly the moment that decision making models are being used in advance in order to predict in advance the outcome  of a decision having alternative path, so to allow the best selection.

There is not always a "Yes" or a "No" for a decision, there are circumstances that there might be alternative decisions further more than the obvious and logical ones like: "Yes but not this month", "Yes but next year", "Yes but not in Europe", "No for this summer"etc.

Imagine now to have more branches for each one of the cases on the previous mentioned alternative decisions  for example the "Yes but not this month" possible answer / decision to have as sub-elements in a lower level: i. " Not in September" and ii. "If in October, x scheduled should be cancelled" , etc.

So you start from a simple question: "Will you go on holidays and if you go when and where?" and you realise that sometimes the obvious -for things that really matter, and what matters to you might be different for someone else- might lead you to a decision tree with branches that every one has a leaf that eventually should be be evaluated to understand which is the best option, possibility, decision on the matter that requires an action.

Thinking, Fast and Slow a masterpiece that you must read by Daniel Kahneman. Selected as one of the best books for 2011, it is related with intuitive thinking, which affects any decision making whether it is fast or slow.
For some problems the decisions to be made have not a great affect but certainly there is always affect whether you choose one or the other. There are usually decisions made in our every day life  that the significance  is so low that its impact is hardly or at all  recognised even if the decision was bad.

Think now, important decisions - personal ones- do you think that there is always two possible answers / paths? I believe no,  even if you have only to choose between one or the other, there is always something expanding the one or the other to a deeper level so you are never dealing with an A and a B: there are always A, A1, A2...B, B1, B2... even for the slightest problems that a decision is required.

Think a little bit further now and imagine decisions for: Business & Finance, Technological Evolutions,  Governments, Worldwide Organisations about Health and Environment, or think for decisions about Energy consumption, Nuclear Power, Agriculture and Food on Global Scale.

There are hundreds or even thousands of decisions made daily that require speed in fractions of a second, giving the optimum result each time, the biggest gain with the less costs/side affects, there are decisions that do not necessarily require speed BUT do require extremely high credibility as in some cases will be responsible for changing lives and habits over populations in regions.

I considered the Decision making models as the next to come cost expensive business (not only) necessity, considered as a valuable investment for ensuring the best results on Decision Making and Problem Solving.

As stated also on the title: "Decision making models, a necessity to create the future", will always be essential for those visioning the future strategically. A useful resource for decision making Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. 


  1. In economics we are moving away for these a bt since we found out that really linear thought can lead to poor outcomes.

    1. No need to disagree with you - economics is your expertise- if has been proved that linear thought leads to misleading perceptions and eventually to wrong decisions, however I'm still in favour to have "indications" for consideration.