Decision Making – Head or Heart
Of course we all say we make decisions with our heads, but do we really? We are all under pressure – whether it is customers pushing us on price, competition for a promotion, fear of an upcoming review or day to day household pressures. Although we don’t admit it, many of our decisions are influenced by our emotions and how we react to situations.
Evidence-based decision making in management often abbreviated as EBMgt , evolved from medicine and emphasizes a rational, objective, and empirical approach to addressing business issues, where decision is based solely on fact. Making decisions solely based on data sounds logical. Some decisions can be easily made that way, but, when we are making decisions that affect other people, we are affected by their emotions, opinions and situations.
How do we balance the heart and head? Next time you need to make a tough business decision, picture 3 circles.
One circle represents our expertise and experience, and our personal or corporate perspective .
One circle represents our customers and their needs and opinions.
The final circle represents facts – empirical data, statistics, financial and operational metrics.
Our decision represents the point at which all 3 circles merge, just like those Venn Diagrams from school.
If we can do this while considering information from these 3 sources, we can move from simply collecting data, to organising and interpreting it. We can apply our knowledge to understand the decision and the circumstances surrounding it, and have the wisdom to apply our experience to make the right choices.
And they say you learn nothing in 4th class!