All entries for March 2012

March 25, 2012

Perfect leader?

Is there any such thing as a perfect leader? Yes I know there has been a lot of effective leaders over the years who have achieved amazing feats in their lifetime. But after going through the leadership theories, I felt that it is not possible for any leader to have all of those traits and capabilitites. I feel it is not possible for anyone to possibly be so complete and develop so many skills. But going through them made me realize how each one of them may be necessary in different situations. So I feel even if there are leaders who really are effective currenlty, will they have been so effective in a different situation with different followers?! Can there be a leader who has the skills to completely change and become accustomed to a different situation? I cannot think of anyone who can have the drive or skills to be effective in any situation. There may be leaders who are great and effective in the things they have achieved, it was because of their passion that was driving them. However, it is possible for them to be so effetive in a completely different scenario as no one can be passionate about every situation. That is why I feel that there is no such thing as a perfect leader. Leaders may be effective but in a particular situation where they have their passion that is drivin them towards it. However, if you just put any past or present leader in a different situation or possibly swap their roles amongst them, I am sure they would be not so effective. They would possibly fail.

March 06, 2012

Decision Making tools can be made biased as well!

Today while using one of the tools I realized how difficult it is to remove biasedness from a decision. Earler I thought that there are just certain biases that exist within a person's mind and it is upto him to think logically and overcome any bias that he may have got due to his experiences and knowledge.

However, today when we were using one of the tools to make a decison on the excercise we were set I realized that the tool is as unbiased as the person or the team ants. The tool itself can be made really bias if the team is adamant on making one decsion or wants to make a certain decision. These decision tools require the team to select the factors that they want in the decsion making tool and it is upto them to give the importance they feel about that factor. Now, if a team thinks that one of the option is better and wants it to score higher than the others, there is a lot of scope of providing arguments where one can give higher weights to factors in which a certain option/alternative is better than the others and automatically the decison making tool will give you the answer that yes, that is the correct alternative.

This thing really surprised me as I never had thought that a decision making tool could be altered according to the needs of an individual and it just undermines the importance of them for me. Two different person given the same kowledge and assumptions asked to use the same tool could very easily arrive at opposite decisions just by the way they intepret different factors that influence the decision.

It made me realize that even if we see any decision made with the help of a certain tool, no matter how good that tool is, it should be our duty to check if that was indeed made unbiasedly, if the person or the group really had no favourites while they were making the decision. It just tells you how inherent biasedness is in any decision and it just make me wonder if it is indeed possible to make any decision without it being altered in any way possible according to an individual's liking.

March 01, 2012

Group Decision making…how effective is it?

Earlier I felt that group decision making is not at all useful and is a waste of time and energy and a single person should take a decision. On MBE, I realized how important it is to have different views and perspectives to a single problem and how it may help generate so many alternatives so that you could be confident that you have looked at all possibilities and considered them properly. But now, RDM has shown some light on the problems that exist in the groupthink as well and how one may try to tackle them so that it really becomes as efficient as we consider it to be.

Well there has been a lot of debate whether working in a group is the right way to take a decision and even under that there are a lot of options like leader being autocratic in taking the decision, then leader consulting with the group and taking a decision, taking a decision in a democratic way where everyone's vote is counted as equal, or else making a situation where each group member tells his points to the leader and to each other and then finally leader takes a decision based on his judgement and the information he has gained from his group members.

Generally, there a lot of problems associated with groupthink.The major problems include that when the majority of the members are having one point of view, the minority or it could be a case where one person find it difficult to put forward an opposite view which may be of relevance and the group loses out on a very important consideration while making the decision.

Also, there may be the case where an introvert person who generally finds it difficult to speak in groups may hold back his views or any doubts back in his mind and the group remain unaware of his considerations. Furthermore, there may be a case where the group members are from different departments and might be biased in their point of views and might exagerrate on certain things that would be a positive for their department but not for the organization as a whole.

We need to take into account all these factors when we are deciding to depend on a group to come to a decision. Generally, in group decisions it is preffered not to have the democratic or the extreme autocratic decision making as democratic decision may be wrong and may contain a lot of biasedness and autocratic is just the opposite of group thinking anyways. So, it is best to have a group making a decision where everyone is putting forward to every other member and the leader itself and the final decsion is made by the leader based on the the learning from what he hears from his group members in an unbiased ay. Also, it is important to have a devil's avocate in a group who challenges any points put forward by the other members so that whosoever puts forward a point can really make others understand his point of view and the leader can be sure if that person really has a logic behind it or not. Also, it gives the leader an opposite view to consider and he can see both sides of the coin while making the decision.

So, a group consultative method I feel should work in the majority of the situations and can help reach group the most optimal decision based on the data and facts available.

March 2012

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