Sometimes you have to trust your gut. There are even situations when following your instincts is the best approach. Rarely, however, is strategic decision making by an executive one of those times. In an interview in the current McKinsey Quarterly, two great scholars whose studies usually represent opposing views, agree that leaders' decisions based on intuition are usually not the wisest. Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002 for his work in prospect theory, which deals with the counterintuitive choices make under uncertainty. Gary Klein, a senior scientist at MacroCognition, studies intuition as a powerful factor in good decision making in high-pressure situations. Yet they agree that when in comes to executives in organizational decision making, intuition is overvalued.
You'd think the economic crisis of the past few years has put employees'-grateful just to have jobs-in the palms of employers' hands. You'd be wrong, according to research by the consulting firm Booz & Co. In fact, companies that still resort to traditional, and outmoded, approaches to talent management aren't just missing out on opportunities; they're actually making themselves weaker competitors in the marketplace.
The role of CIO is a delicate balancing act between technical expertise and interpersonal savvy. Much has been said and written about CIOs' need for better communication skills in order to be taken seriously in the C-suite. Speak the language of business, not technology terms, goes the most common advice. On the other hand, in the event of an IT emergency, the CIO had better know his technology.
How well are you coping with the economic turndown? A lot depends on the position you hold in your company. “McKinsey Quarterly” just published the results of their global survey, conducted in July 2009, with over 1,600 executives (47 percent are C-level execs or corporate directors, 33 percent are senior execs, and 18 percent are middle managers).