Design Thinking is all about making better decisions

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Design Thinking is all about making better decisions

What is the link between design thinking and innovation? A quick search today for “Design Thinking degrees” on Google turned up 4,420,000 results. Universities and corporate education propose an impressive array of variants of Ideo’s original vision ofempathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, and testing. In spite of the staggering numbers of programs pitching “design thinking”, there is little proof of a direct relationship between design and innovation.[i] John Kennedy asserts that mainstream visions of design thinking are often shallow and misdirected.[ii] Let’s suggest that most are missing a critical point: design thinking requires a different approach to how we view the problems we are trying to solve, how we are using the data, and how we look for solutions.

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Choices are easy when...

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Choices are easy when....

everyone does what they were supposed to do. Unfortunately most of the decisions we face each day address situations that don’t go exactly as planned….

Let’s assume its playoff time and the basketball arena is packed. Each of the two-hundred and fifty fans in section 22 has purchased an assigned seat near half court. However, one teenager decides two hours before tipoff to sit with his friends in the third row rather than his own seat courtside. The fans file in after that attempting to sit in their own seat, but taking a random seat in the section if theirs is already taken. You worked late and unfortunately arrive just after the start of the game to find only one available seat left — the number is hidden by the crowd. What is the risk that by choosing to sit in this last available seat you will in fact be choosing one that you didn't purchase?

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Life's Litte Bets

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Life's Little Bets

Out of the blue, a relative sends you a gift of 1000 euros. A nice sum of money, but not quite enough to purchase that dream home, let alone retire on. You decide to use this unexpected handout to play the French National Lottery, where the prize money announced is more than you’ve ever dreamed. Even if the probability of winning is slim, surely persistence can pay off. You decide to wager 20 Euros each week during the next year, with the idea of doubling down on the next bet with your eventual winnings. How much will you have won in one year's time?

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Analytics is also about solving life's little problems

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Analytics is also about solving life's little problems – like finding a parking space at the beach….

After the results of Sunday’s French elections, we decided to head off to the beach at the Old Port of Biarritz for the extended weekend break. A short hour’s drive from our apartment in Pau, the challenge of staying in Biarritz is finding a parking space anywhere close to the seaside hotels. As you drive through the town’s narrow streets, the parking spaces become few and far between. The eternal question for anyone who looks at the data (or at least at the beach) is: should I take the first available parking space and walk a couple of kilometers to the hotel, or wait until maybe a find a closer spot?

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"I just don’t have the time to make better decisions…."

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"I just don’t have the time to make better decisions…."

Former Watergate chronicler Bob Woodward spoke passionately last weekend about the importance of taking our time in getting the facts right when taking decisions for ourselves and influencing those around us. [1] The high potential managers in the audience smiled wryly, for they know only too well that the pressures of modern management have made time the rarest commodity of all. They have just too many decisions to take every day – there just isn’t any time to think about the best obtainable version of the truth.

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Que signifie la capacité de prendre de meilleures décisions pour vous et vos clients ?

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Que signifie la capacité de prendre de meilleures décisions pour vous et vos clients ?

Peu importe si notre regard porte sur la politique, l’économie ou la société, chaque jour semble apporter son lot de mauvaises prises de décisions. Jack Zenger et Joseph Folkman en ont récemment identifié les causes : la négligence, le manque d’anticipation, l’indécision et l’isolement. Est-ce que notre lecture quotidienne de fausses nouvelles, de faux fats et d’opinions manipulées est la cause ou le résultat de décisions contestables ? Que peut-on faire pour améliorer nos compétences sur la prise de décision dans nos organisations, pour nos clients et dans nos carrières ?

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Transformation's end goal

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And if Digital Transformation wasn't the end goal?

On one level I greatly enjoyed last week’s Fnege conference on digital transformation[1], on the other I can’t help but feel that somehow we are missing the point. The conference topics focsed on the the keys to the digital transformation of organizations, the importance of the digital economy, and the importance of customer value. The presentations by Essec’s Nicolas GLADY, Insead’s Axel TAGLIAVINI, and Catherine MONGENET of Fun-MOOC on the importance of digital platforms, practices and Moocs were all interesting in their own right. Yet, despite the brillance of the orators, several critical points on the role of digital technologies, the nature of digital economy, and the value of customer perceptions went largely unaddressed.

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Définir une grande décision

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Comment définir une grande décision ?

Nos conférences sur l'amélioration de la prise de décision conduisent inévitablement à des questions sur la meilleure manière de prendre des décisions. Dans notre esprit, il existe une distinction claire entre bonnes, meilleures et grandes décisions. De bonnes décisions sont possibles dans des environnements décisionnels « déterministes » dans lesquels la bonne réponse se trouve dans les données disponibles. Malheureusement, la plupart des décisions d'affaires sont prises dans des environnements « stochastiques » dans lesquels la bonne décision ne peut être déduite des données disponibles. Dans ces cas, il faut privilégier les meilleures décisions possibles afin de réduire les causes d'incertitude. Enfin, de grandes décisions sont celles dans lesquelles le contexte, les défis et les solutions nous permettent de réexaminer la nature même du processus décisionnel.

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The Decisive Moment

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The Decisive Moment

During our trip to Paris last week we took the time to visit the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation near Montparnasse. The exhibit on the second floor is dedicated to one hundred twenty odd photographs published in the 1952 collection “The Decisive Moment”.[1]  The beauty and the orginality of this work sparked a generous debate over the existence of “decisive moments”. Are there rare, specific points in time when everything seems to fall in place? Are these the fleeting moments that define important decisions, spawn innovation, and make leaders great?

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What exactly is a “Great Decision”?

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What exactly is a “Great Decision”?

Our workshops on improving decision-making inevitably lead to questions on what better decision-making really means. In our minds, there is a clear distinction between good, better, and great decisions. Good decisions are possible in deterministic decision environments in which the right answer is in the data at hand. Unfortunately, most business decisions are taken in stochastic environments in which the right decision cannot be deduced from the available data – but better decisions are possible in reducing the causes of uncertainly. Finally, great decisions are those in which the context, challenges and solutions allow us to re-examine the nature of the decision-making process itself.

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