Knowledge is power, but decision-making needs to make a comeback for us to realize our potential.
With all this noise, this information, this data, is your decision-making process improved?
The Future Filter
The constant challenge: you can never have all the information and time is your biggest enemy against knowing everything.
Here is how I see the funnel towards decisions (if I had time I would have made a mad 3D hierarchy pyramid, but alas … I ask you to envision a pyramid one from mere words. If anyone wants to send me a graphic, I’ll add it) with noise as the pyramid base:
- Noise — all the 0s and 1s/bytes and bits throughout the web, over the airwaves, across the spectrum;
- Research — the initial question,
I wonder if…that sends you to seek answers;
- Information — the all-source return dump from your question or a 1-way flare (information is different from communication: see below)
- Data – the filter to makes sense of what is valuable and what is garbage;
- Communication — the 2-way relay of what you find and what needs further refinement;
- Interpretation — the unaccountable and unseen layers of values, wants, needs, bias, emotions, and agendas (to name a few) that your communication target has filtered your communicate through to draw their own interpretation of the information or data. Note: you have no control on how or what you communicate interprets as intended; caution when proceeding
- Conversation — the deeper dialogue to clarify responsibility; and
- Decision — shared commitment
Let’s flip the pyramid with the top now on the bottom, kind of like hanging the world map upside down, an alternative perspective:
- Research, and
Pattern Recognition and Systems Thinking
Professionals are valued and paid to make decisions and to make tough decisions. The gray-haired sage is expected to draw on experience to help interpret and filter to make quicker decisions.
Here are three ways to start with decisions in mind:
- Begin with a hypothesis — if the hypothesis is proven wrong, all the better, add the new elements and revisit the hypothesis.
- Identify the constraints to better hone the target — what limits your journey from noise to decision: time? resources? skills?
- Perfection is the enemy of good, go with what you have, of course showing up to meetings prepared also helps…
I value all the great dialogue, writing, Tweeting, and networking you have shared, because this is the power of social media and the wisdom of crowds.
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