Competitive Intelligence

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In light of some of the recent discussions around poor analysis and poor leadership, I found this article fascinating in addressing what may become (or is) an important issue for organisations today.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decis...

 

We may blame greed, corruption, poor skills, etc but how many clients are possibly suffering from decision fatigue?  How many of us as consultants are personally suffering from decision fatigue? 

 

And how do you think this impacts the ability of companies to perform effectively?  Or even for each of us to perform effectively?

 

Very interested to hear what others think on this subject.

 

Best regards

Babette

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Babette,

 

Thanks so much for posting this article. Given I live in the US (the epicenter of the problems the Western world is facing), I think its extremely important and pertinent particularly given the USA economic climate continues to worsen, and the populace is propagandized daily  left, right and center about what really happened and is happening, while simultaneously marketed to incessantly while there is still an ounce of blood left in the American consumer, and the tasks of day to day living have become more arduous to get through given fraud has become a business model for the banks and credit card companies, and any consumer protections in the US have all but been eliminated, and so many have lost their jobs and their homes with no new opportunity on the horizon or recourse- I see the anger, the fear and desperation, the frustration,and hopelessness draining people of the ability to function and yes, make good decisions. It's complete depletion. Oh but hey, then there's the bread and circuses for distraction- just play with your smart phone or watch America's Got Talent, tune out to the pressing matters, forget that your government and the banks have pulled off the greatest financial scam the world has ever seen and annihilated your future....The folks who still are working in Corporate America not out as consultants like you and me, well they're being completely drained too by the constant fear they will be the next one to get the axe, coupled with the fact they are doing four jobs now instead of the one they were originally hired to perform. We've got a climate here totally in opposition to people being able to make good choices because they are under too much pressure to make what are likely going to be life altering decisions and its its like getting water from a stone when it comes to getting accurate information to make those critical decisions. No wonder so little is or perhaps can, be done. No energy left, tank on empty.....

Regards,

Monica

Monica - you are so right!  Just reading your comment and long sentences, I was overwhelmed and truly empathise with your "no energy left, tank on empty".  This whole area of decision fatigue sits well with me because I am aware of so many good executives in every area of society who are making non-sensible (trying to be polite here!) decisions. 

 

This does raise then the question for me - are we presenting our insights/intelligence at the wrong time? Should we make sure we deliver our insights when executives have higher glucose levels? Is this an insight for us as CI professionals?

Maybe rather we are presenting our findings in the wrong way, and should schedule our meetings for first thing in the morning when people are more fresh. Now it's more important than ever to be in tune with "How" the decision makers like to be communicated with, and to match their communication style. Be persuasive and decisive with your findings and lead the executive to make a decision. Take the guess work out of it as much as you can.

Hey Babette

Non sensible decisions, indeed.

Coming at this first more from the individual/family side not the business POV- outside of the decision fatigue issue, people across almost all demographic classes with the notable exception of the top 1% -5% are extraordinarily fearful and have been impacted negatively financially in the US. Most families stateside have experienced a job loss or precipitous decline in income, and/or they've got  issues with the mortgage and being radically underwater, etc, etc, etc.

That said, I've seen a magnanimous change in attitude stateside lately amongst the set of my friends and colleagues who were  what I would originally refer to as  " the constant optimists." In the last 6 months, even they now acknowledge how abysmal things really are, and dont believe things are getting better or that they will. Suffice it to say, obviously propoganda and PR only go so far when folks are looking around their originally high end neighborhoods and watching the lawyer and doctor next door file bankruptcy, lose the practice and the neighbors on the other side trying unsuccessfully  to get a modification and taking their kids out of private school, selling the Mercedes, liquidating the timeshare. Yes, Americans are running on empty..cue Jackson Browne from 1977...

Moving to the corporate/business side- in America we have an economy predicated on consumer spending and taking on new debt, and this isnt happening. The American Consumer is laden with too much debt already, cant take on more, dead on arrival. So, the companies assumed Asia would pick up where we left off. Nope, bad projections, not happening. China has their own issues and so does India. Executives are waking up to this. Then we had the false flag from Citi that the plutocracy could carry the economy. POOF!  Yeah right, this idea too dead on arrival. So now we're left with blatantly manipulated statistics on everything from GDP to CPI to UI, a rigged but constantly volatile stock market, banks that are insolvent without mark to fantasy accounting, and the constant 24hr shortsighted news cycle with finance industry apologists/analysts still trying desperately to convince us to open our pocketbooks and spend spend spend, that everything's OK and well hell, nobody's buying it.

So moving on to our role as CI analysts- take a good look right at whats happened to the bank analysts who tried their best to put forth an objective analysis and saw that the sky was indeed falling-they got canned. I hear this from a lot of other analysts in other sectors as well, that management is far more receptive to more propaganda and spin and positivity than hearing that things may not all be well. I don't know if this is a uniquely American phenomenon. We seem to have a sociocultural tendency to be most comfortable only with the glowing positive, and in my opinion, its not doing us any favors. I think the takeaway for us as analysts is our intelligence is now needed more than ever to cut through all this, but will there be receptivity? Perhaps as well given the complex climate, that all the decisions are falling too heavily on too few and that they should be dispersed to cut down on the decision fatigue.

 

Good article. It makes sense.

I came across this article earlier this week.... http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/2...

 

Thought it was interesting in light of the discussion as to when to deliver CI.

Best regards

Babette

It is a nice article Babette,

I told some of my former students that there is such a thing as decision fatigue especially during examination time.

But yes, even working adults undergo difficult moments making decisions in times of stress.

 

Jafni

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