What is Decision Fatigue?
Ever felt tired of burning energy in a ‘heroic battle’ trying to convince leadership in one of those lengthy corporate decisions making processes? Do you know when the quality of decisions was the effect of irrational trade-offs? Decision fatigue is the emotional x mental strain resulting from a burden of choices to be made, which leads to low quality of outcomes. Fatigue is often the result of a lack of clarity, worry and frustration, not necessarily about working hard itself.
Who owns organizational alignment?
When complexity is increasing and the acceleration is accelerating into the ‘unknown’, leadership might start to struggle to effectively think clear in discrete layers. Strategic, tactical and operational decision layers start to ‘cross poll pollinate’. The responsibilities x burden for the reasonability of decision-making might start to shift from people who know something to people who really don’t know anything. Then, who owns the organizational alignment?
When nothing is clear, everything remains possible….and HIPPO’s are born.
When organizations fail to see their business endeavour as a connected and coherent value chain, the ‘hierarchical’ decision making process overwrites trust x skills x relevant experiences. The focus starts to shift inwardly into the enterprise’s structure as articulated by the org chart. Anxiety x Fear kicks in and no individual is functionally responsible for overseeing the enterprise from end to end.
Who is actually responsible? The answer cannot be “nobody”, nor can it be “I don’t know”. Too often functional leadership starts to protect and optimize their own interests, agendas, domains and components, rather than align and improve the decisions makings process. Silos emerge, tension builds and ‘HiPPO’s emerge. [HiPPO: highest-paid person's opinion]. The number of decisions to be taken exponentially increases, effective leadership diminishes and ‘decision fatigue’ seeps in slowly and gradually.
Activity is mistaken for progress.
The ‘Analysis Paralysis’ emerges, and every need to make decisions leads to requesting the organization to compile reports, memos and calls to educate senior leadership on operational matters. Activity is mistaken for progress.
Decision making requires sound judgment, courage, time, and energy to answer. The frantic activity of business as usual can get in the way of the in-depth discussions and tough choices that need to take place regularly. Without vision x understanding many enterprises lack the alignment x direction x ambition to fulfil their full potential.
How to shape a better-structured decision-making process?
Rational decision-making can be uncovered in a series of sequential steps which decision-makers should consider if their goal is to maximize the quality of their outcomes. In other words, if you want to make sure that you make the best choice, going through sequential formal steps of the rational decision-making model may make sense. Structured decision-making processes include rational, bounded rationality, intuitive, and creative decision making.
Does your organization structure its decision-making processes? Curious to understand on how - depending on the circumstances – you can address these challenges by ‘unleashing’ the great coach within you? Then let’s get started with a ‘get to know each other’ coffee over zoom.