All entries for Friday 11 March 2016

March 11, 2016

Robust Decision Making – Group Exercise

During this week, we as a group, have been given a case study to determine which location is better for WaveRiders for the production of inflatable boats, respectively, to choose which marketing channels we are going to use for the advertising campaign. Three important decisions had to be made: to decide whether or not continue with the new project, to choose between Lymington and Exmouth for the location and to choose between different marketing channels for advertisement. To address and analyse the problems, we as a group decided to do a SWOT analysis about the new product and decided to continue with the project. Another SWOT has been made for the two location to be able to compare their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. We knew that we had to use special decision making tools in order to make a robust decision. Therefore, we used a grid analysis, a cash flow analysis, a decision tree analysis and an AHP to decide between the locations and a SMART analysis to decide between the different marketing channels. Interestingly, our main concern was money related (costs) and maybe we should have taken into account other qualitative factors as well. Additionally, we could have done a better market research by using PESTLE to consider the economic, political, social, technological, legal and environmental factors as well that could help us in our decision.

I believe that robust decision making is more effective in a team where every individual can contribute to the brainstorming according to his/her capabilities and skills, especially when we have to make important decisions regarding to strategies, crucial change, investments, developments and so on. Every individual has his/her own point of you, suggestions, ideas that can be useful to make a robust decision. Our team has taken a democratic approach with open discussions by encouraging team members to share ideas, and then we synthesised all the available information about the case study in order to make the best decision. We all know, that everybody has got different thoughts, perceptions, ideas and judgements, but interestingly our team agreed and harmonised in everything without any doubts. Our group has been consistent in the decision making process, we were cooperative and flexible and our teamwork was very useful. We learnt a lot from each other, as everybody has got skills in different areas and we came up with some creative ideas, for instance 'a possible joint-venture with a Norwegian fisherman's company'.

Another important issue to mention is that we all decided about Lymington when we have got the case study at the first time according to our System 1 and our logic. And now, we had been able to prove the same decision with System 2 as well.

All in all, this study week provided me a framework how to make a robust decision systematically, effectively and comprehensively by taking into account various internal and external factors and by using different decision making tools in order to achieve the best outcome. However, we also need to consider anchoring and bias as well much better in the future.

Visionary leadership

A good vision which is realistic, attractive and credible can take a company to a better desired future (Nanus, 1995). A leader who has got passion about the vision, willingness and necessary knowledge to achieve this vision can inspire his team better towards common purpose and organisational goals. Some of the characteristics of a good visionary leader includes good communication skills, as he needs to communicate his vision effectively to his employees; charisma to help to engage employees towards the vision; optimism, because he can see opportunity everywhere in everything; good organisational skills; intelligent risk takers and strategic planners as strategies take the leader towards his vision. A visionary leader promotes organised learning, creativity and innovation, empower employees, respectively, creates a nice working atmosphere.

I believe that an effective leader needs to be visionary first, as everything starts from the vision. Employees need to know what is the goal of the company and the direction how this goal is going to be reached.

March 2016

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