The Reality of Cognitive Filtering

Decision Making & Cognitive Filtering

In the May 2015 issue of Harvard Business Review, we find the cover article to be about improving decision making (“Leaders as Decision Architects” by Beshears & Gino, p.52 – 62). Next we find “Outsmart Your Own Biases (Soli, Milkman, & Payne, p. 64 – 71) and then “Fooled by Experience” (Soyer & Hogarth, p. 72 – 77).  When I was reading these interesting articles my thoughts kept saying, this is that old self-awareness and cognitive dissonance thing from leadership and psychology theories applied to decision making scenarios.  So, there are recommendations in each of these articles about techniques for unleashing innovative processes but what of the techniques we have used in the past and found helpful?

The articles all come at the solutions with similar techniques (in my view, at least).  Lengthen the deliberation, expand the discussion, allow for false paths to be explored, be aware of the effects of prior experiences, do honest post mortems, hold decisions to accountable measureable outcomes.  All good.  But what tools have we available to us, off the shelf, to improve the decision making process from inside?

I go back to the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Gallup Strengths Based Leadership (Rath & Conchie, Gallup Press, 2009) instrument both of which together (in my experience) provide a strong common shared language and definitions of underlying natural stress related tendencies and specific areas of strengths to arm decision-makers with anti-bias as well as collaborative spectrum information to carry with them into the decision exploration.  By utilizing and sharing output from these two personality decoders together the factors each individual brings to the table, and what they do not but others provide, is brought to bear as valuable data to the whole group.  With the information comes awareness, trust, respect, and collaboration all of which should improve the decision-making process and the success of the outcome.

Stratalyne can help implement such a process improvement for your business.  Contact us at Stratalyne to discuss it.

By Michael Sacco – MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

© 2015 Stratalyne Business Solutions LLC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s