In a fast paced Disruptive world it is likely that decisions be made fast, yet be made with the least amounts of increasing risk - this will likely be difficult, as information may emerge quickly and yet be incomplete or even be fake. The manager will need to balance risk and reward into decision making. There are many tools available - yet all too often decisions already may lack the required time, logic and rationality - with the increased pressure to decide, there may be pressure to listen to spin rather than facts and rationale forecast anaylsis.
For the SME owner, new manager or managers more generally, formal decision making tools may not be the norm - yet the benefits of each are that you can explain the problems to others, there is some level of rationality, and the tools remove the impulse to just decide on emotion or on status. Doing decisions more formally certainly may take longer (but in Disruption hopefully not much longer) - on the other hand "gut feel" or "spin" decisions may be perilous to your organization !
One favourite tool that can be fairly efficient is the "common gap analysis" - firstly choose a problem or emerging Disruption. Ask your team to find out as many facts about the problem or Disruption - remember to find facts rather than opinions ! Identify what omissions the data may have in terms of its authenticity, accuracy or verification.
Now start with the problem or Disruption - write down all the potential problems that it may cause your organization, identify where it will be sub-optimal or where there are additional risks that may emerge. Do this with brain storming (across a range of people with an array of skills)- as you do not really want to miss any issues. Try to not restrict ideas, do not allow anyone to tell others that the idea is "stupid" or "unlikely" - after all Disruption by its nature is hard to predict and identify.
Ok, once you have that list of issues you now need to identify the gap - the gap is what the issue would look like if it was completely covered, if it could actually be a positive for your organization (ie has benefits). An example may be as follows for but one issue - say your competitor may develop an AI solution and it may eradicate 90% of employee requirements in your process.
- So the problem may be gap analyzed as follows:-
Gap Issue Cover/benefits
AI emerges removes 90% staff requirements Reduced staff costs
Improved service to customers
The next step in a gap analysis is how might your organization to capture the potential benefits (in this case we are not looking at downsides - that will be covered in another technique in another blog). The team now needs to discuss the benefits and consider how they will monitor and build actions to realize the gap. Again think laterally, use brainstorming, try not be negative - you can assess the practicalities later.
In this instance above, you may decide that to gather the benefits of any emerging AI by using some or all of the following
a) create an AI team to scan developments around the world
b) start up your own research and development team
c) commence briefings with staff on what may happen, the skills and structures that may be required
d) discuss with customers what AI may emerge, how you plan to take advantage and seek their input.
e) determine how the AI will integrate and assist customers
f) seek additional data and confirmation of any Disruption / AI that emerges so that you know it is not fake when you first identify it
g) build strategic supply partnerships
The SME owner and new manager may use alternate decision making tools or otherwise learn by trial and error - where the mistakes may hurt and slow your organization. Also remember speed is important in Disruption so keep the team focused on any gap analysis in progress.
Consider today using gap analysis in your decision making - remember facts first and be creative before reviewing the actions through a practical lens ! Other decision making tools for management will be discussed in future- for Dr Mats tip for the day (free of course) follow him on Linkedin or on Twitter or visit this blog site regularly www.Drmat.online/blog
If you are a Leader or seeking to be one in the future - you need to read, read, read about Disruption NOW ! Those that fail to understand and adjust will fall behind.
Feel free to ask Dr Mat over a chat or email on Leadership, Management or change issues, advice, consulting or mentoring that you may seek.
These and other related topics feature in Dr Mats upcoming book titled "Leading and Managing Change in the Age of Disruption and Artificial Intelligence" - written for the modern professional, student and academic wanting to be ahead on modern Leadership and Management issues. Available through Amazon and other book sellers from May 24th 2019 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1787563685 . This book has been strongly endorsed - so use this link to review the endorsements and their comments - consider buying this book or recommend it to colleagues or friends.
Consider your own specific situation and seek professional advice before acting directly in reaction to any of the tips on this website, they are intended as general advice only.