Identify the Problem—Then Simplify It
Effective leaders don’t overcomplicate or add layers to a problem; they identify it, then simplify it to its most basic form. This allows them to create an effective path to determine the most appropriate solution to a problem and make the best decision even with imperfect information.
Embrace the Pre-Mortem
Effective leaders take time to consider the potential negative outcomes before deciding what action to pursue. This reframing will keep the team flexible and open to adapting plans as needed. We have many times observed teams that are too focused on why and how an idea could lead to success and neglect to ask what could go wrong.
Welcome the Pivot
A change in organizational direction, or pivot, is an inevitability in today’s business world. An organization with no change mechanisms in place will quickly become stagnant and regress. The same principles apply to the individuals who are making decisions as leaders of a team. Every leader must be prepared to change course when necessary.
The most successful teams in our simulations consistently consider alternative viewpoints. Many times, success is possible only when it disrupts the status quo. Teams that ensure their decision-making process is open to thinking outside the proverbial box typically succeed more than teams that follow the same recipe in every simulated quarter. Effective leaders consider each problem individually, from multiple angles, often playing devil’s advocate against themselves to make sure they’ve covered all the bases.