Decision-making during a pandemic - how to choose from bad options and disagree while preserving your important relationships
Some decisions are tough. But covid is creating unique uncertainty about the future for nearly every decision we make. Wouldn’t it be great to know you are making high-quality decisions?
As the weather cools, children return to schools, and the holiday season approaches, we will have to take a different approach to the mitigation of exposure risk than what we’ve experienced so far.
If you’re finding it hard to make one or more decisions right now - it might be time to take a different, more structured approach.
Years ago, I took a six-week course through Stanford University on SDG’s Decision Quality framework - this model sorts decision types by both frequency and value:
When viewed through this lens, it is clear that covid-19 and related exposure risks have changed routine, benign, automatic decisions into major “Strategic Decisions” with non-trivial implications.
This year our daughter is entering high school, which is an important milestone in any year, but now we’re facing so many more complicating factors. So our family has found it helpful to use a structured approach to making decisions around back-to-school for Grace, Aubrey and John, and in managing our approach to other major covid-related decisions.
The Decision Quality model considers six elements when making important, strategic, high-quality decisions:
While making decisions is necessary, how we discuss those decisions is equally important.
When we disagree with someone important in our lives on issues that challenge our core values, it can be tempting to prioritize merely reaching an agreement. To maintain a healthy working relationship, openness and trust, and reach high-quality, collaborative decisions, we need to ensure we are listening and seeing each other along the way. The journey is as important as the destination - quick agreement is damaging if it comes at the cost of belonging and security.
It’s equally important to realize that a well-made decision (making the best decision with the information you have at the time) can still have disappointing outcomes.
Covid-19 continually forces us to choose between several sub-optimal options. Each choice carries risks and none guarantee a positive outcome, so we are unlikely to be completely satisfied with whatever decision we make.
Consider the six attributes of decision quality, stay true to your core values, and work on building bridges of validation with those you care about.
If you’d like help finding perspective and balance between the roles you fill in your life and work, we’re here to help. Book a free consultation.
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Time to face it: leaders have an enormous responsibility for safety and should wear face masks in the workplace. Use these facts and practices to help your team breathe easy.
By Michael Fiss, Kate Bourque and Tim Sweet
Workers are now returning to offices and bringing with them a wide variety of opinions and sensitivities when it comes to wearing masks. Meanwhile, more and more jurisdictions and businesses are implementing mandatory mask-wearing laws and policies.
Mandatory masking has become an issue of personal identity and polarizing values. Unchecked, this conflict threatens to unravel corporate unity and undermine cultures of safety. How will your organization respond in a way that is credible and consistent with your values and established safety culture?
After reading this you will have five data points and four behaviours you can use to inspire a safe, consistent approach to phased reopening.
Staying calm is good. Carrying on in the middle of a crisis - not so much.
When it began to gain prominence in North America, I, like everyone else though “Keep Calm and Carry On” was cool. I didn’t regard it as a mind-blowing advice, but it had a retro look and some kitsch to it.
Now… three years on, I’m telling clients to think twice before adopting "Keep Calm" when designing change and improvement slogans. At best it's overused... at worst it's harmful and counter productive. Leave it out of your HR and Change Management campaigns – and, do not promote it as a virtuous leadership behaviour.
An Opiate for the Masses
“Keep Calm and Blankity Blank” statements are being overused by shortsighted leaders trying to forward their own agendas, to the point of nausea. The meme is applied like a salve to “sooth” the masses while asking them to do something. The medium is the message, and this medium implies it should be done without question – unfairly making it an issue of loyalty and stoicism.
Do you have employees that carry stress home? Their lives literally depend on the organizational culture and leadership style you choose to adopt. You can make a huge difference to the happiness and balance in your peoples' lives.
Do you have employees that thrive at home and at work? Their lives literally depend on healthy organizational behaviour and company culture on the job.
Want more from your career and life?
It was great to hear Dr. Mohan S. Sodhi speak at the Alliance Pipeline Seminar "Supply Chain 3.0 and the Search for Performance" on Friday.
Fantastic to meet and have conversations with Professor Sodhi, my friend (and Co-Author) Jaydeep Balakrishnan, Shawn Baker, Fernando Torres and many more.
Dr. Sodhi (whose work you'll find in the Sloan management review and the Harvard Business Review) nailed home the point that organizations can incur an incredible loss if they fail to deal with supply chain challenges at the appropriate 'level' (operational, supply chain, social.) The analogs presented demonstrated the effect of failing to have an appropriate response when a threat materializes.
I left with the feeling that this risk will become increasingly relevant if organizations go insular on increasingly public social issues, or go to social media to justify poor internal decisions or quality issues.
We've seen disastrous of this mismatch when Airlines, Automobile Manufacturers, Technology and Government deal with mistakes that harm stakeholders.
I found the learnings extended far beyond supply chain; being equally valuable for governance and regulatory, and safety teams to consider.
A big thanks to Alliance and the Haskayne School of Business CASL for putting on this excellent series.
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