Good Reads You Might Have Missed: Decision-Making

Should you rely on your gut, the data, or a combination of the two? That’s a question association leaders fret over—and these insights could help your organization make up its mind.

Association leaders have a lot to worry about on any given day, and many of those worries are focused on decisions.

Whether at the executive level, the board level, or even among individual staff, decisions remain a bedrock of what makes associations tick.

So how can you be sure you’re making the right call? These pieces might help lead you in the right direction:

‌Association Decision Making: A Path to Better Decisions. This 2017 magazine feature highlights the shift that the Association of American Medical Colleges made in its high-level decision making, building around a framework that encourages the organization to move more deliberately and with fewer surprises. “Our leadership team itself recognized the need for a different approach to both mitigate these surprises and make better decisions more quickly,” said Jennifer M. Schlener, AAMC’s chief of staff.

Three Expert Tips on Pandemic Decision-Making. This roundup of insights underlines the need for more cautious decisions amid the pandemic. “During a disease outbreak, vague guidance and ambivalent behavioral norms will lead to thoroughly flawed thinking,” University of Pennsylvania law and psychology professor Tess Wilkinson-Ryan explained.

How Diversity Leads to Stronger Leaders and Better Decisions. During ASAE’s 2020 Great Ideas conference, speakers Lior Zoref and Torin Perez made the case for building up stronger diversity within an organization to help strengthen decision making, rather than simply listening to the most engaged audiences. “Loyalty doesn’t produce the best idea; it’s having the people in the room who represent all backgrounds and perspectives and who are actually experiencing the problem you are looking to solve,” Zoref said.

Three Keys to Successful Use of Data in Decision Making. While data may not entirely drive a decision, it is becoming increasingly important—and as a result, understanding data mechanisms matters more than ever, wrote Virginia Graves of Association Analytics. “Looking ahead, it’s clear that data and analytics will continue to play an important role in achieving organizational outcomes,” Graves wrote. “Associations looking to set their staff up for success should continue to think about how they can foster a data culture within their organizations.”

Going Beyond Data in Decision Making. Data is often a major driver of decisions, but it still needs interpretation, said strategy and governance consultant Meredith Low, who makes the case that decision making needs to be more holistic. “The limitation is that you never have enough data,” Low stated. “You still have to overlay judgment, intuition, and preferences on top of data.”




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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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