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Are you willing to take strategic bets?

I pride myself in data based decision making. With the world being what it is today, we don't have the luxury for waiting for the data to emerge. The one thing that is keeping me from going to the next role is an inability to take strategic bets. Making decisions not backed by substantial data stresses me out.  I really want to move to the next level. What can I do to improve my decision making?
                                               ~ Director, Tech

We live in a world of uncertainty: Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear, Incomprehensible (BANI).

To think that we can build a decision making model of certainty that would work in an uncertain world is a false belief. While we don't have to 'roll the die' for everyday decision making, future proofing the organisation will demand taking strategic bets.

Unwillingness to do so will create career stagnation. This is because strategic roles will ask you to take strategic bets.

How can one prepare oneself to be ready to take strategic bets?

  1. Stop the tendency to over-play the consequence:

Sometimes, the devil's advocate in our head overplays the consequence of a decision multi-fold that we believe it is a "do/die" decision.

Then we extrapolate the impact on "us" because of the decision making. We create a disaster movie in our head and for sure the hero of the movie dies after the decision goes wrong. This paralyses us and we lose sleep and tend to avoid the decision.

More often than not, the disaster movie does not happen in reality. Our decisions sometimes may lead to less than desired consequences but they are just decisions with some consequences.

More on this here.

2. Bets lead to learning which cannot come any other way

In her book, "Thinking in bets", Annie Duke talks about the learning loop that a bet enables.

(c) From the Book Thinking in Bets, Annie Duke

Whenever we bet on something, there is an outcome and skill gets built in refining our beliefs through it. This can be very valuable for our organisation and our leadership.

3. Willingness to change your beliefs

All risk taking will fail if we are not willing to question our own beliefs.

What beliefs do you hold about yourself that you don't want to question? Those are the ones that are preventing you to take risks.

Approach your beliefs with an open mind and you will have your bets to thank - for a lot of improvements in your belief system.

Some of our beliefs may have been formed in our childhood which may not be relevant today. Those need to be let go.

What is interesting is what a changed belief can bring in for your whole life.

Just changing the belief from "I don't take risks" to "I take calculated risks" can enrich your life.

Question your beliefs about what is good decision making? May be that needs a new model.

4. Fear of Failure

Most clients I work with struggle with taking risks because of the fear of failure.

More on this here.

What helps you take strategic bets?

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