In an earlier post, I outlined a summary of research from Nobel Prize Winner Daniel Kahneman and his colleagues on some reasons why we make unwise decisions. They outline two questions you should ask yourself before making any big decision:
- Qui Bono (who benefits?) Do you have any reason to suspect that you or whomever is making the recommendation is motivated by a preference for a certain decision? You should look for two or three realistic different options and recommendations with the potential short and mid term impacts.
- The Cupid and GroupThink Syndromes: Has the individual or team who is making the recommendation fallen in love with the recommendation? I remember working with one very senior leader who told his senior leadership team that he relished the chance to spar with a team making a recommendation when they told him, “We’ve all agreed, this is unarguably the best course of action.” He pushed and fought for them to argue the different options to get as many dissenting views on the table as possible. He wanted and actively solicited dissent on the possible options so that they had the best possible chance of making a good decision. This had the side benefit of helping his team think through different options before coming to him with a recommendation.