Following an incident, we often identify areas in which we perhaps could have worked differently and produced preferable outcomes. At times like these we may hear (or think to ourselves) perhaps the most used phrase in debriefs:
“Why didn’t they just use a bit of common sense?”
Roughly translated, ‘common sense’ is ‘the way I would have done it’ or ‘the way we would have done it’. The outcome is the criticism of the decision of one individual, by another who is using a different set of criteria.
Stop and think…
When in your career, have you undertaken training which has not just ‘provided you information’, but has given you the opportunity to try it out?
Would you agree, that the more you were able to check, test and explore a subject, the more you gained from the training?
Decision making – a skill?
However great the knowledge of the key decision maker, it is very often the decision itself which defines the resulting course of actions and ultimately, the quality of the outcome. Decision making is in itself a skill, a skill that in risk management ranks highly in the armoury of skills required. Nothing must be left to chance or rely on ‘common sense’ as decision making must be studied, taught and learned.
The challenge is ensuring the best decision makers are in the right place at the right time, with access to the best available information, in order to maximise positive impact on the outcome of subsequent events.
Quality of information and ensuring key decision makers are appropriately located is essential and we will cover this in future blogs. For now, let us focus on the quality of decision making itself.
Decision making is, like many skills, something to which we are naturally pre-disposed or ‘gifted’. Whether this is the case or you start from more humble foundations, it is clear that decision making is something that we can all improve.
It is beautifully simple..
We train our teams in decision making skills
Then we test those skills
Then we review the outcomes; did the training and testing work?
Then we apply the new skills in the working environment
Then we review again and continue to train as necessary
Neither theoretical training or testing of acquired knowledge needs to be face to face. In fact, eLearning is ideal as delegates work in a supported way with flexibility around time and methods of learning, ensuring time to understand the subject. The testing can also be delivered online and to inject realism, ‘real world’ context and issues can be applied.
At Powermill we like to keep things simple.
We work with clients to produce effective training and development for key risk decision makers by designing contextualised programmes. This provides delegates with subject specific content, ensuring that new found knowledge is not left untested, by providing a ‘sand pit’ environment in which to apply their knowledge to given scenarios.
We believe that individuals must be empowered to make the best possible decisions through positive, challenging and supportive learning. Training the greatest assets of an organisation to make the best possible decisions.
To us, that is common sense….