Strategic Thinking and Opportunistic Decision Making

Posted on November 25, 2014 ยท Posted in Organizational Strategy

There is strategic planning, strategic thinking and opportunistic decision making according to recent McKinsey research. Strategic planning provides the raw material for strategic thinking and opportunistic decision making. Strategic thinking and opportunistic decision making are about an integrated set of actions to create substantial advantage.

The quality of interaction among your mangers determines the quality of that set of actions.

Cass Sunstein and Reid Hastie in there recent Harvard Business Review article “Making Dumb Groups Smarter” is a powerful review of what often prevents intelligent teams from making effective decisions and what should be done about it.

“Group members take informational signals from what others say, even when the information is wrong or misleading, while reputational pressures can cause them to silence themselves or change their views in order to fit in. As a result, groups often simplify individual errors, stampede toward bad decisions, foment polarization and extremism, and ignore information that isn’t already widely held.

Among the solutions they recommend to organizational leaders to overcome these group dynamics are letting others speak first, assign specific roles or areas of expertise to members of the group and most importantly encouraging individuals to share their diverse knowledge rather than suppress it.