You hear this a lot in business – too much actually. So, three years ago the award-winning learning and development company ABSTRACT set off to research and maybe find a solution to effective Judgement and Decision Making. As a result of the global impact of Covid-19, they have decided to bring forward their market launch earlier than planned, and to share their findings and solutions. We spoke with ABSTRACT’s Commercial Director, Mark Fryer, to find out why…
“This is not what we intended!!” Mark said. “In terms of timing, that is, but it feels the right thing to do right now as we believe the world, nations, governments, companies, teams and each of us as individuals will have some of the most important decisions to make ever in ours and previous generations lifetimes!” – yikes!!
ABSTRACT spoke with many, many people at different levels of seniority, across different industries and with different backgrounds. Inspiration and learning came from all quarters – the Military, Financial Services, BioChem, Pharma, Sport, Media, Clinical Manufacturers, Politics (yes, I know!) to name a few. Mark says “We also read as much as we could about the human brain….actually, that’s a lie, we read as much as could until we got bored or fortunately we found some brilliant research.”
ABSTRACT were particularly inspired by the Hogan Principle that….
“It’s brilliantly simple on the face of it” Mark reflects, “catchy and we like it. But, take a moment to think about the maxim and consider which is the most influential segment? It’s character and this is where the problems start – god damn it, we had not even started and we had a problem! Human beings are the most complex of computers on this planet (yes, cleverer than that shiny new iPhone 11 in your pocket) and believe it or not we are only using about 16% of our brains capability. Why does this give us a problem before we have started? Well, we explore character in much more detail in our Critical Thinking Series but let me give you a flavour”.
He explains “Every person we spoke with when asked “how do you form judgement and make decisions?” responded – “gut-feel” (what the heck is this?) and/or “intuition” and/or “experience”. We discovered the brilliant research by Daniel Kahneman (in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow) who described “gut-feel” and “intuition” as recognition that is filed away in the massive filing cabinet in our brain, which he refers to as System 1”.
ABSTRACT’s research suggested that the typical person has 80,000 thoughts a day, which applying Kahneman’s theory is all filed away, sometimes deep in our sub-conscience, in the System 1 part of the brain as items of recognition. Applying this to the average aged person that ABSTRACT spoke to in their research means they will have each had nearly 964,000,000 potentially different recognitions than you. It is therefore no wonder that we often see the world differently and often cannot agree when making decisions.
WOW, so are we all doomed we asked?
“Well, maybe not” was Mark’s response. “Human beings are brilliant, clever, loving and resilient. Taking this most complex of subjects and making it simple, ABSTRACT have developed our Critical Thinking Series- our thoughts, concepts and practical tools and solutions to help individuals and organisations to make better judgements and decisions”.
ABSTRACT believe there may have never been a better time to hone these skills, as people and companies are having to make important and impactful decisions at a time of change, uncertainty and ambiguity.
A final thought from Mark, “We did a lot of reading during our research and whilst this isn’t our usual genre we were inspired by the somewhat counter-intuitive quotation from Shunryu Suzuki in his book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”;
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts there are few”
Makes you think doesn’t it…oh, and make that 80,000 + 1 thoughts for today.
ABSTRACT are currently offering ‘How to Form Sound Judgement & Decision Making?’ as part of their collection of real-time Webinars providing the tools and inspiration to help people and organisations thrive in the current environment.