To create an organization that makes high quality decisions, one first needs to understand the larger dynamics that govern decision making and decision quality. They are:
– A decision is only as good as the weakest link
– How one frames decisions matters
– One can’t judge a decision by the outcome
– Decisions are linked
– One can’t know everything beforehand
– People have different risk profiles
– Organizational decision making is a balancing act
– ‘Two-choice dilemmas’ make leaders
– Organizational decision quality must be built a step at a time
– It’s not a decision until one commits.
This paper explains each of these themes in the context of one of the great case studies in organizational decision quality of the last hundred years: the journey of Ernest Shackleton and his crew to the Antarctic aboard The Endurance.