I felt a little ("little" perhaps being a euphemism) detached from this week’s readings on decision making; whether this is the readings themselves or just me and my activities of the week I’m not sure. I found the Buchanan & O’Connell (2006) reading to have strong breadth but weak depth; leaving me very little to take away, and all too much to go in one ear and out the other (or eye in this case). So this learning journal will contain a snippet of “decision-related” reflecting and then I’ll see where that takes me – bad for structure, but it’s all I have right now.
My team for MikesBikes is currently following a very broad strategy; it’s not very detailed at all – it’s not that we’re skimping on looking at the details, but it is that the strategy itself has no specific targets mentioned. This sounds bad, I know. But it’s flexible and follow-able – and we don’t have the problem that Mankins & Steele (2006) outline – we don’t have the problem that the strategy isn’t driving our decisions. We’re doing reasonably well. It’s early stages yet, of course. Time may prove me wrong.
Taking a step back, this in itself could be a problem, for me: My doubting of writings by certified experts. I think that I think this because I believe that there’s so much information out there that each individual piece of writing becomes almost insignificant. That I, for some reason, am high and mighty and that I somehow override this expert-who-has-devoted-whole-life-to-subject.
I’m highly dependent on my own experiences and those of the people around me – is it true for me? Is it true for someone I trust? And that trust is only gained through experience of course. Perhaps a relativistic view – is it something that I should change? Should I be more trusting and believing? I admit to sometimes scorning lecturers (especially in Business 101/102) for giving unsuspecting young students readings with questionable content. Because I don’t think we’ve been taught to question enough at that level. I don’t think there’s a single answer to the question. I should take each case individually and take a step back, as I am now, and ask myself – is that really questionable? Last week, in my journal, I wrote “it’s okay to disagree with the readings”. But there’s a point that it’s too much. Is my doubt unrealistic or unjustified? And to turn the circle back to decisions, am I making the “wrong” decisions because of this?
I think part of this is knowing when we’ve made the “wrong” decisions. Is this something we can only determine through consequences and results? Or can we get positive results when we’ve made “wrong” decisions?
I’m still figuring that out. Hopefully further down the track I’ll be able to answer some of my own questions with my MikesBikes experiences. And hopefully I’ll be “better” because of it.
Apologies for the chatter/stream of consciousness. Daudelin (1996) couldn’t keep me in check this week.
Buchanan, L. & O'Connell, A. (2006). A brief history of decision making. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 32---41
Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36--48
Mankins, M. C. & Steele, R. (2006). Stop making plans start making decisions. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 76--84