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"Hard & Fast" Vs "Late & Slow"

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The title might sound like a movie but this article is about unpacking decision making.   We need leaders to be confident in their decisions so we can hold them accountable.  We desire leaders to lead, wanting them to be early. They achieve this by listening to the signals and reacting before is is obvious to the casual observer.  However, those in leadership who we hold accountable do not want to make the “wrong” decisions. A wrong decision can mean liability, loss of reputation or perceived to be too risky.  A long senior leadership career requires navigating a careful path between not takingtoo much risk by going too “early”, which leads to failure, and not being late such that anyone could have made the decision earlier and looking incompetent.  Easy leadership does not look like leadership as it finds a path of not being early or late (the majority) When we unpack leadership trends over the past 100 years that include ideas such as improving margin, diversification, reduction, sp

Optimising for “performance” is directional #cop26

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In the week where the worlds “leaders” meet to discuss and agree on the future of our climate at  #COP26 , I remain sceptical about agreements.  At #COP22 there was an agreement to halve deforestation by 2020 ; we missed it, so we have moved the target out.   Here is a review of all the past COP meetings and outcomes. It is hard to find any resources to compare previous agreements with achievements.  Below is from the UN.  The reason I remain doubtful and sceptical is that the decision of 1.5 degrees is framed.  We are optimising for a goal.  In this case, we do not want to increase our global temperature beyond 1.5 degrees.  Have you ever tried to heat water and stop the heating process such that a temperature target was reached. Critically you only have one go.    Try it. Fill a pan with ice and set a target, say 38.4 degrees, use a thermometer and switch off the pan when you think the final temperature will be your target. Did you manage to get within 1.5 degrees of your target? 

When does democracy break?

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We spend most of our waking hours being held to account between the guardrails of risk-informed and responsible decision making.  Undoubtedly, we often climb over the guardrails and make ill-informed, irresponsible and irrational decisions, but that is human agency. It is also true that we would not innovate, create or discover if we could not explore the other side of our safety guardrails.  Today’s perception of responsible decision making is different to that our grandparents held.  Our grandchildren will look back at our “risk-informed” decisions with the advantage of hindsight and question why our risk management frameworks were so short-term-focused.  However, we need to recognise that our guardrails are established by current political, economic and societal framing.    What are we optimising for? ” I often ask the question, “ what are we optimising for? ” The reason I ask this question is to draw out different viewpoints in a leadership team.  The viewpoints that drive individ

Climate impact #COP26

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Are the consequence of a ½ baked decision that we created ( the mess we are in ) squared This article joins how the # climate outcomes we get may be related to the evidence requirements we set.  The audience for this viewpoint is those who are thinking about the long term consequences of our current decisions and the evidence we use to support those decisions. We are hoping to bring a sense of clarity to our community on why we feel frustrated and lost. You should read this because it will make you think and it will raise questions we need to debate over coffee as we search to become better versions of ourselves.  @yaelrozencwajg @yangbo @tonyfish The running order is: Which camp are you in for positioning of the crisis: know and accepted, still questioning or denial.   What are the early approaches to solutions?  What are policymakers doing and what is their perspective.  The action is to accept the invitation to debate at the end. Part 1. Sustainability set up The world appears more

Do shareholders have to live in a Peak Paradox?

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For the past 50 years, most business leaders in free market-based economies have been taught or trained in a core ideology; "that the purpose of business is to serve only the shareholder". The source was #MiltonFriedman . Whilst shareholder primacy is simple and allows businesses to optimise for one thing, which has an advantage in terms of decision making, it has also created significant damage. It does not stand up to modern critique and challenges such as ESG. Importantly there is an assumption that a shareholder group was a united and unified collective. There is an assumption: shareholders are united and unified The reality is that in a public or investor-led company, the shareholders are as diverse in terms of vision, rationale, purpose and expectation as any standard group of associated parties. Shareholders as a group rarely have an entirely homogeneous objective. Given the dominance of shareholder primacy, how do we know this concept of non-homogeneous actors is genu

What are we asking the questions for?

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What are we asking the questions for? This link gives you access to all the articles and archives for </Hello CDO> This article unpacks questions and framing as I tend to focus on the conflicts, tensions, and compromises that face any CDO in the first 100 days — ranging from the effects of a poor job description to how a company’s culture means that data-led decisions are not decisions. I love this TED talk from Dana Kanze at LSE.  Dana’s talk builds on the research of Tory Higgins who is credited with creating the social theory “ Regulatory Focus ”  This is a good summary if you have not run into it before. Essentially the idea behind “Regulatory Focus” is to explore motivations and routes to getting the outcome you want. The context in this article is to explore how a framed approach to questions creates biased outcomes. One framing in Regulatory Focus centres on a “Promotion Focus” which looks for “ gain ” which can be translated as finding or seeking hope, advancement a