Decision making – art or science?

Property Academy speaker Michael Nicholas posed a question to one of our Mastermind Groups last week – “Is decision making an art or science?”

After considerable debate the Group decided it’s both but not at the same time, in other words some decision making requires considerable thought, research and data analysis whilst at other times it’s more appropriate to go with your intuition. The key point though is in which circumstances is it better to be scientific or artistic?

I’ve quoted from “Thinking fast & slow” by Daniel Kahneman on several occasions – the nobel prize winner highlights our two systems of thinking and how each can be hijacked and inappropriate. Over analyse something and there’s a danger you’ll procrastinate, just follow your gut and you’ll sooner than later get it horribly wrong. Michael Nicholas cited ‘The Cynefin Framework’ as a helpful tool to enable you to decide when to use each, when to apply science or art.

As you can see from the graphic above there are broadly four sets of circumstances that require different decision making processes:

Simple – here you just “sense, categorise and respond”.

Complicated – this is similar to Simple but additionally there’s analysis required: “sense, analyse and respond”.

Complex – This requires more system two thinking, you should probe then sense and respond.

Chaotic – perhaps paradoxically here there’s little or no point attempting to analyse so it’s best to go with system one thinking or act and then sense and respond.

If it’s simple or chaotic then go with your gut, take an artistic system one approach but if it’s more complicated even complex then this requires the scientific system two thinking – which tends to be harder and requires a lot more effort.

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