Sleeping on your decisions
An interesting blog was written by Maarten Bos and Amy Cuddy in the HBR Blog based on the story that Barack Obama decided to have a nights sleep before making the decision to authorise the raid that killed Bin laden. Their research shows that when considering a problem, it is often useful to have the mind “distracted” for a while and the subconscious then undertakes an active process that accurately weights the pros and cons of the decision to be taken.
This aligns with other thinking (including that of Genesis) on the topic. We believe in highly complex situations, although the left brain may be useful in structuring a logical process and perhaps “running the numbers”, it is the right brain that is better at grasping the holistic picture and dealing with the complexity. A good process is to immerse yourself (or your team) in the details and context of the decision (eg in the Genesis decision room mentioned in “The Second Habit”) – and then take a break! Allow your right brain to take over and the only way to do this is to get your left brain to “shut-up”. So be it having a sleep, going for a run or, as Dan Pink describes in his book “A whole new mind”, go for a walk in a labyrinth and let your left brain worry about where it is walking and free your right brain to be creative and develop solutions.
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Talk to us at Genesis Management Consulting to see how we can help your team “improve lives through better decisions!”