Thursday 16 August 2012
Business leaders need training in order to learn how to make the right decisions time after time, it has been claimed.
Dr Paul Brown, head of the psychology and applied neuroscience unit within the Lao PDR Office of Government, said decision making is what executives are paid for.
But he suggested that many leaders have no idea how to improve their decision making capacity, and this is where good management can play a part.
Dr Brown said that where there are gaps in data, the brain will do its best to fill them in with anything it can to justify the development of its own certainty.
"Alas, there is nothing of greater hindrance to good leadership than great certainty when such certainty is poorly founded but pursued with great purpose," he added.
The expert said that being humble is "a great virtue" as it keeps the brain flexibly open to data from any source.
"Decision-making might be vastly improved by an attitude which stems fundamentally from not knowing, being conscious of not knowing, and keeping the creative right brain engaged," he added.
"In such a way other brains and their data can impinge upon a leader's brain. Then high-trust relationships are formed and that increases the quality of the decision-making process."
Dr Brown said leaders are constantly having to make decisions under highly imperfect conditions of uncertainty.
"Becoming a leader usually requires a major mind shift from a career path that has stressed achievement through certainty," he added.
"Learning to be certain about uncertainty is a great executive aid – and a leader's brain needs training to do that."
Posted by Dan Smith