12Achieving Quality in Strategic Decisions

It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.

—Elbert Hubbard

Strategic decisions are truly important; they are the ones that determine the direction of our enterprises and personal lives. In most cases, those decisions have long-term consequences and, therefore, involve substantial uncertainty. Strategic decisions almost always involve the irreversible commitment of major resources. And they are likely to involve stakeholders who have differing beliefs and interests, making values and tradeoffs complicated. These complex decisions deserve careful consideration.

When making these decisions, it is especially important to avoid the megabiases described in the previous chapter. Strategic decisions should not be framed too narrowly or dragged into our comfort zone, where we are tempted to do what we know how to do, rather than what is needed. The use of an advocacy/approval process should be banished when making these decisions. All participants should operate in a learning frame and insist on explicit review of the decision quality (DQ) requirements, rather than being tricked by the illusion of DQ. Also, agreement among participants must not be confused with decision quality. The Dialogue Decision Process (DDP) is designed to avoid these megabiases, and to satisfy the requirements for DQ.

The Dialogue Decision Process

The Dialogue Decision Process (Figure 12.1) has demonstrated ...

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