I want to unofficially nominate Harvard Business Review for writing one of last year’s most interesting articles on thought.
The article is called, “A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making.” The article explains how some decision-makers tailor their approach to fit the dynamics affecting the challenges they face.
First, this article presents the reader with a very brief (half magazine page) introduction into yet another understanding of complexity:
“Complexity is more a way of thinking about the world than a new way of working with mathematical models.”(p71)
But the greatest value in this article is the table on page 73, where the authors breakdown challenges into:
Each of these is correlated with the following table columns:
- The context’s characteristics
- The Leader’s Job
- Danger Signals
- Response to Danger Signals
This table becomes a type of “cheat sheet”, that the reader can use to reference their type of challenge and then use the framework suggested to address it.
I think this article is valuable because as a global society we may be in need of education about problem-solving skills. This article provides insights into problem solving models in an accessible way.
*At the same time, I’m trying to remain aware that the article is narrowly targeted to the business community. This reminds me that its scope and framework is limited and leaves a lot of opportunity for both, expansion and further contextualization to address other types of challenges.*
Perhaps more importantly, this article calls to the utility of using different “lenses” / “frameworks” as tools to understand and interact with our world.
(*Update: Mr. Snowden commented on my comment above. After re-reading the article I agree that the framework is ‘open’ enough to be applied in different situations.)
Snowden, David J. and Mary E. Boone. A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making. Harvard Review. November 1, 2007. (pp 69-76).
The Cynefin model, as covered in Wikipedia
The Cynefin model described via video (via Narrative Lab)
What Kind of Decision is it? (via Harvard Business Review)
Related in this blog:
“Integrating Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking Models” >>
Keyword: Daniel Montano, Dan Montano, user experience design, information architect