Stop Jumping to Solutions! Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Executives, the authors contend, are really good at decision making if the goals are clear, and if the choice is between a set of specific, predefined alternatives. But when the decisions are complex, business leaders have a tendency to home in quickly on a couple of options, record the advantages and disadvantages, and spend the majority of their time computing -or deliberating around -how the competing courses of action stack up. They scarcely take time investigate the full extent of options or to framework decisions thoroughly. Regrettably, when conclusions are framed this way, the authors state, the consequence is frequently suboptimal. An effective way to work against this, they say, will be to make better use of the classic conclusion matrix, which allows for the comparison of different alternatives using the exact same set of predefined criteria. The authors assert that the decision matrix is not only an evaluation tool but also a process instrument that can help executives expand their conclusion framework beyond the apparent choices and standards and help them think "out of the carton." Based on the writers, the selection matrix can be useful at crucial periods in the decision making procedure to (1) frame decisions, (2) make real choices, and (3) communicate alternatives. It allows leaders to identify possible differences and legitimate flaws in their own reasoning, facilitate conversation in the executive team, and build support and buy-in in the wider organization. Executives should understand two notions: mental pails and gold cuts to expand the conclusion frame methodically, the authors note. Mental buckets are for bunching similar notions into connected yet different groups vehicles. Ideas have to be formed at some point while brainstorming is a familiar way for teams to create lots of thoughts. Categorizing them into mental pails helps folks spot gaps and overlaps - in terms of both criteria and options. The cognitive act of creating new mental pails serves to spark creativity. The golden cut is a term the authors use to describe the difficult trade-off in any decision. Identifying the golden cut is vital not only for engaging with key stakeholders but also for framing conclusions. Being aware about communicating and picking the first cut on the criteria measurement is likely to create more openness and willingness to participate; the relevant criteria will be highlighted at the start rather than as an afterthought.

Stop Jumping to Solutions case solution

PUBLICATION DATE: July 01, 2016 PRODUCT #: SMR561-PDF-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about STRATEGY & EXECUTION

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