Home
>
Thoughts
>
Article

Decision Making, Functions, and How to Improve It


29 May 2024
cover-artikel-putih.jpg

Decision making is an important skill that influences various aspects of our lives.

Starting from everyday decisions such as what we eat, to big decisions that determine the direction of a career or business.

This ability is not only needed in the work environment, but also in personal and social contexts.

Making good decisions means considering various factors, analyzing information, and choosing the best option from a variety of alternatives.

In this article, let's discuss more about what decision making is, its benefits, examples, and how to improve this ability!

What is Decision Making?

Decision making is the process of making a decision between several options or actions.

In the workplace, decision making is used in a variety of situations. Starting from the simple, such as determining a meeting schedule, to the complex, such as deciding on a business strategy or recruiting new employees.

Quoting Harvard University, decision making abilities in the workplace can be seen in various forms, such as:

  • Facilitate discussions: You are able to lead meetings to discuss new ideas.
  • Screening job candidates: You can choose the right person for the job.
  • Receive feedback: You listen to suggestions and comments.
  • Analyzing market trends: You are able to understand changes in the market and adjust business strategies.
  • Communicate with outsiders: You can learn from people outside the company to solve problems.
  • Negotiate: You can work together with colleagues with differing opinions to find solutions.
  • Fix technical issues: You can detect and fix errors in data reporting.

Example of Decision Making

Decision making is one of the main skills that can determine success in the workplace.

There are many aspects related to this skill, from problem-solving abilities to time management. The following are some examples of decision making, quoted from Indeed:

Problem solving

Problem solving is the ability to identify problems and find solutions. In making decisions, you must be able to see the situation from various points of view and remain calm.

Leadership

Leadership is the ability to inspire others. A good leader can make other people feel comfortable and motivated to achieve common goals.

Reasoning

Reasoning is the ability to think logically and consider various options before making a decision.

This ability helps you choose the most reasonable action based on the information available.

Intuition

Intuition is the ability to trust your instincts. Instinct usually comes from previous experience.

If your intuition is good, you can trust it when making decisions, especially when the information you have is incomplete.

Teamwork

Cooperation means working with others to achieve a common goal.

By working together, you can exchange ideas and gain different perspectives to help make better decisions.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your own emotions as well as the emotions of others.

With emotional intelligence, you can control your emotions and communicate well.

Creativity

Creativity is the ability to find new ideas. With creativity, you can think of unconventional solutions and come up with more innovative decisions.

Time Management

Time management is the ability to manage time well, especially when decisions need to be made quickly.

These skills help you keep a schedule and meet important deadlines.

Organization

Organization is the ability to organize and manage tasks.

With organizational skills, you can stay focused and ensure all important tasks are completed on time.

Benefits of Training Decision Making Skills

According to CommerceMates, here are some of the benefits of the decision making process:

  • If many people are involved in decision making, of course more information will be obtained.
  • Shared decision making encourages more people to participate.
  • When many people are involved, there are more alternatives or options to consider.
  • Decisions made together are usually easier to accept because they involve the participation of many people.
  • Improve the quality of decisions.
  • Shared decision making helps strengthen the organization because it encourages teamwork.

How to Improve Decision Making Skills

Decision making is an ability that can be improved through practice over time.

You don't need to be in a stressful work environment to learn to make better decisions.

Even simple everyday decisions, such as choosing what to eat for dinner, can be effective practice for honing this skill.

According to Harvard University, there are several ways that can help you improve your decision making skills:

1. Start slowly

First of all, you need to realize that decision making is a learning process.

Just like learning to ride a bicycle, you need to go slowly and follow the correct steps.

To practice this ability, you don't need to make big decisions. Everyday decisions like choosing a dinner menu or weekend plans can be great practice.

2. Consider the facts

In the decision-making process, we often get caught up in assumptions and prejudices. However, to make effective decisions, you have to focus on the facts.

So, before making a decision, take the time to research and gather all the relevant information.

3. Ask for help

Don't feel that you have to make decisions alone. Sometimes, asking other people's opinions can open our minds to different points of view.

4. Reflection

Reflection is an important part of improving decision making skills. After making a decision, take time to evaluate the results.

Decision making is an important skill that influences many aspects of life, especially in the work context.

This ability is not just about choosing between several options, but also about understanding information, considering various factors, and choosing the most appropriate course of action.

Effective decision making requires skills such as problem solving, leadership, reasoning, and teamwork.

By mastering these skills, you can improve the quality of your decisions and make a positive contribution to your team or organization.

Want to improve your decision making skills?

Join our class and learn how to make better decisions, solve complex problems, and increase your effectiveness at work.
Join the Systems Thinking and Complex Decision Making class now!

RELATED ARTICLE
Banner-Article-Juni-DESTHINK.jpg
Understanding Design Thinking and its Goals, Steps and Principles
04 July 2024

Have you ever felt confused when you wanted to solve a user-focused problem? Don't worry, there is an approach that can help you get out of this situation, it's called design thinking!

Design thinking is not just for graphic designers or architects, but can be used by anyone who wants to find creative solutions to any problem.

A study found that companies that consistently apply design thinking have up to 50% higher financial profits compared to their competitors who do not apply this approach.

So, what is design thinking?

Let's thoroughly examine the meaning of design thinking, principles, goals, and steps!

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a way to solve problems creatively and systematically. This process involves five phases, namely empathy (Empathize), definition (Define), ideation (Ideate), prototype (Prototype), and testing (Test).

Interestingly, this method was developed by academics and creative professionals from well-known institutions such as Stanford University, you know.

They realize that to truly solve problems, they cannot rely solely on logic alone. However, emotions and empathy also play an important role.

Research even proves that when you are empathetic, creativity can skyrocket!

Purpose of Design Thinking

Design thinking can bring many benefits to your team or organization, you know! Come on, see the explanation below:

  • Better understand what users really need.
  • Try new ideas gradually so that the risk of failure is smaller.
  • Think creatively and create completely new solutions.
  • This method allows you to quickly learn from mistakes so you can make improvements more quickly.
  • Design thinking also makes collaboration in teams better.

Steps to Design Thinking

Design thinking is a concept that provides creative and innovative solutions. This method is not just about solving problems, but also about feeling and understanding user needs in a more personal way.

In fact, according to research, teams that apply design thinking are better able to find innovative solutions that satisfy users.

So, what are the steps in design thinking? Here's the explanation!

1. Empathize

The first step in the design thinking process is empathy. That is, you try to understand the problem from the user's perspective.

You must be able to feel what users feel and understand their perspective better. Whether it's through interviews, observation, or research.

Why is this important to do?

Because this way, you can create solutions that suit their needs, rather than just relying on guesswork.

2. Define

The next step is to define (define). After collecting information, it's time for you to analyze it.

Formulate a clear and specific problem based on the data collected. This phase helps you stay focused on finding a solution.

3. Ideate

Ideation is the phase where you are free to imagine and bring out all the ideas that are in your head. There are no limits to ideas.

You can create as many ideas as you like, no matter how strange or brilliant they are. You can also hold brainstorming sessions to generate new and innovative ideas.

4. Prototype

After that, the fourth step is to create a prototype. Take some of your best ideas and create a prototype or initial model of the solution.

This prototype can be a physical model, digital mock-up, or even a simple sketch. The goal is to test the concept in real life and get feedback from users, before you spend a lot of time and resources developing it.

5. Test

Lastly, there is the testing phase step. This is the step where you test the prototype on users to see how effective it is in solving the problem.

By testing, you will get feedback from users. That way, you can use this information to refine and develop your solution further.

Principles of Design Thinking

Now let's discuss the basic principles of design thinking that can help you create creative and useful solutions for users. Some of these principles include:

Care about user experience

In design thinking, the most important thing is to understand user needs and feelings.

You have to listen to what they need and how they experience using your product or service. Remember, it is the user who is at the center of innovation, not the technology.

Cooperate

You also need to work closely with other teams, such as marketing and design teams. By working together, you can get fresh ideas that are useful for creating better solutions.

Generating Ideas and Solutions

Once you understand the problem, it's time to develop creative ideas. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and explore various possible ideas. Remember, the more ideas, the better!

Try and Fix

Design thinking is not only about generating ideas, but also about creating prototypes, testing them, and making improvements based on user feedback. This process may repeat itself until you find the right solution.

Actively Engage

The most important thing is that you must be actively involved in solving the problem. Rather than just speculating about user needs, you should interact directly with users and listen to what they need.

Ready to Face Obstacles

Remember, not everything will go smoothly at first. Failure is part of the process. You have to learn from mistakes and keep trying new things.

Flexible

Good design must be able to adapt to future changes. You must be ready to change your product or service to remain relevant to user needs.

Simple

Successful products are simple and easy to use. You have to eliminate unnecessary things so that the product is easier for users to understand.

So, that's a complete explanation of design thinking! With this approach, you can find creative solutions to various problems you are facing.

If you are interested in learning more about design thinking and developing your skills in creating creative solutions, don't hesitate to join our training program!

We offer classes designed to help you understand design thinking concepts in more depth and apply them in practice.
Want to take the “Design Thinking for Business Innovation” class? Register here now!

Article-Banner-Juli-No.21.jpg
IGNITING CREATIVITY: Strategies For Sparking Business Innovation
03 July 2024

In fast-growing markets, the key to staying ahead often lies in innovation. The ability to generate breakthrough ideas can provide an edge over competitors, driving the growth and sustainability of a business. But how do businesses consistently generate innovative ideas? Here are some strategies, illustrated with real-world examples, to unlock creativity and encourage innovation in your organization.

1. Cultivate Curiosity

Innovation thrives in an environment where curiosity is encouraged. For example, Google's famous "20% time" policy allows employees to spend 20% of their work time on projects they care about, regardless of whether it fits their job description. This policy resulted in the creation of Gmail and Google News. By cultivating an employee mindset of being curious, employees are more likely to think "out-of-the box" and produce creative solutions.

2. Embrace Diverse Perspectives

Diverse teams bring different viewpoints and experiences, leading to more innovative ideas. Procter & Gamble (P&G) embraces diversity by creating cross-functional teams that include members from different departments and backgrounds. This approach resulted in the successful development of the Swiffer product, a product that revolutionized household cleaning. Encourage collaboration between departments and engage employees at all levels in brainstorming sessions to capture a broad spectrum of insights.

3. Leverage Data and Analytics

Data can be a powerful tool in identifying opportunities for innovation. Netflix uses advanced data analytics to understand audience preferences and predict what content will be popular. This data-driven approach helped Netflix transition from a DVD rental service to a leading streaming platform and content producer. Use data to inform your decision-making process and validate new ideas as they emerge.

4. Support an Open Innovation Ecosystem

Open innovation is innovation that involves utilizing external sources of ideas and technology. Lego, the world's leading children's toy brand, invites customers to submit their own designs via the Lego Ideas platform. Designs that are successfully turned into official Lego sets become profitable for both the company and its creators. Create channels for external collaboration and create mechanisms to integrate external innovation into your business model.

5. Invest in R&D and Continuous Learning

Research and development (R&D) is an important component of innovation strategy. Apple's continued investment in R&D has resulted in innovative products such as the iPhone and Apple Watch. Additionally, providing ongoing learning opportunities for your employees can keep them updated on the latest industry advances and inspire new ideas. Encourage experimentation and allocate resources to R&D projects.

6. Encourage Risk Taking and Accept Failure

Innovation often involves taking risks and stepping into the unknown. Amazon's "Fail Fast" culture encourages employees to take risks and learn from failure quickly. This approach resulted in the creation of Amazon Web Services (AWS), a highly successful and profitable segment of the company. Create a safe environment where employees feel comfortable taking calculated risks and experimenting with new ideas.

7. Involve Customers

Customers are a valuable source of inspiration for innovation. Starbucks regularly engages customers through its “My Starbucks Idea” platform, where customers can submit suggestions for new products and customer-centric improvements. This input has resulted in popular offerings like the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Engaging customers through surveys, interviews, and social media is effective for understanding their needs and preferences.

8. Use Design Thinking

Design thinking is a problem-solving approach that focuses on understanding users and creating human-centered solutions. MAKNA CREATIVE, a renowned design company, uses design thinking to develop innovative products and services for clients in various industries. By applying design thinking principles, businesses can develop customized solutions to meet their customers' needs.

9. Stay Active and Adaptive

The ever-changing business landscape means innovation requires the ability to adapt quickly. Spotify uses agile methodology to iterate its products quickly and respond to user feedback. This flexibility allows Spotify to stay ahead in the competitive music streaming industry. Applying agile methodology to enable rapid iteration and responsiveness to market changes is effective to have an advantage in market competition.

10. Create an Innovation Laboratory

Innovation labs are special spaces where employees can experiment with new ideas. This sandbox environment allows testing new concepts before scaling them up. Create an innovation lab to encourage experimentation and creativity.

Conclusion

Finding innovative ideas in business is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. By creating an environment that encourages creativity, embraces diversity, leverages data, and promotes collaboration, businesses can consistently generate breakthrough ideas. Remember, innovation is about exploring the unknown and taking bold steps to create value in new ways. By adopting these strategies and learning from real-world examples, your business can stay ahead and drive long-term success.

 

Fanny Sekar Parentya
Business Development Executive of prasmul-eli

Banner-Article-Juni-No.5.jpg
SCAMPER Method: Understanding and How to Apply It
11 June 2024

In the process of developing ideas and plans, you can use various thinking methods. One of them is SCAMPER.

In SCAMPER there are various questions that aim to help you come up with the best ideas. The SCAMPER method can be used to create new products and services.

Here we explain more about the SCAMPER Method!

Understanding the SCAMPER Method

SCAMPER is a creative thinking method and technique that uses a series of questions to provoke innovation and new perspectives. According to Interaction-Design, SCAMPER consists of:

  • Substitute
  • Combine
  • Adapt
  • Modify (sometimes also called Magnify or Minify)
  • Put to another use
  • Eliminate
  • Rearrange

Each component has a list of questions that aim to sharpen your way of thinking.

SCAMPER Question List

Use the following list of questions from each component as a reference to form a framework for thinking and making decisions.

Substitute

  • You can focus on what changes or improvements need to be made with the following questions:
  • What new ways or methods can I use to improve the quality of products or services?
  • Should I change the composition of teams and tasks to make the process more effective?
  • Should I change the basic ingredients of this product?
  • Should I use new production techniques?
  • Can I use this method for other products?
  • What happens if my views and opinions on this product change?

Combine

In this component, you are challenged to combine and unite one or more materials, methods, and even people to produce innovation.

  • Can I combine these two ingredients?
  • Can I combine old materials with new materials?
  • How do I optimize this leftover material into a new material?
  • What will happen when I combine the two ingredients?
  • What will happen if I combine these methods and ingredients?
  • How can I help my team use this new method?

Adapt

As the name suggests, you will be asked to use your brain to utilize an object or resource in order to adapt and solve problems. Here's an example of a question:

  • What kind of changes must be undergone in order to adapt to consumer needs?
  • What values ​​and functions can be changed from this product?
  • Is this product only used for one function?
  • What processes and methods must change to produce the new product?

Modify (sometimes also called Magnify or Minify)

At this stage the list of questions will focus on product modifications and the methods you use to produce a product.

  • What can be modified about this product?
  • What value or function can be highlighted from this product?
  • Should the size be enlarged or reduced?
  • Should the color be lighter or darker?
  • Does the position need to be adjusted again?
  • Does this product need additional new features?
  • What kind of new features do users need?

Put to another use

You will be invited to analyze new ways to use the product through the following questions:

  • Are these products and services used in more than one industry?
  • What industries need this product?
  • Will this product change its function in other industries?
  • If used differently, will this product still work well?
  • Can this product be used by children?
  • Can this product only be used by adults?

Eliminate

The goal is to optimize your product through changes or eliminating certain parts. So, try answering the following questions:

  • What parts can I reduce without changing its function?
  • Can I reduce the manufacturing costs?
  • Can I lower the quality of the ingredients?
  • Am I an unnecessary part?
  • How to make this product smaller and lighter?
  • How can I make this product easier to use?

Rearrange

Finally, you will be challenged to do something that goes against your habits or basic processes.

  • Can I change the direction to the opposite?
  • What would happen if the manufacturing process were swapped?
  • What would happen if the positions were reversed?
  • Can I start the process with the final stages first?

How to Apply the SCAMPER Method

After getting to know the ins and outs, the SCAMPER method may seem complicated. To make it easier for you, here are some simple ways to implement it, summarized from Mindtool:

  1. Identify problems with products or services. Apart from problems, you can choose products that you feel need development.
  2. Start answering the questions above, starting from Substitute to Rearrange. You don't need to answer all the questions, if you feel it's not relevant to your needs, just skip it.
  3. These answers will produce new ideas, ways, methods and thought processes. Identify all these things according to the main objective.
  4. Use the most appropriate ideas, methods, and thought processes in new plans and changes to the product. Also make sure you have a backup idea or method.

Example of Application of the SCAMPER Method

For example, your company has a product in the form of an application that provides home repair services. It's been a month since the number of users has not increased. With the SCAMPER Method you want to increase the number of users.

Substitute

Try to identify the service ordering process in the application. Can you change the process for ordering these services? Are there any complaints or input from consumers regarding the services offered?

Combine

Can the craftsman who repairs house leaks also carry out the process of painting the interior of the house? Are there features that can be combined on 1 page, to make it easier for consumers?

Adapt

Do the services offered in the application meet the needs of your consumers? Do you have to make a new survey to determine what consumer needs are? Can the services you offer go beyond home repairs and maintenance?

Modify (sometimes also called Magnify or Minify)

Are there customer testimonials that can be highlighted in applications and social media to increase potential customers' trust? What new features can make things easier for consumers?

Put to another use

Do you have to change the location of potential customers from Jakarta and Tangerang to only Tangerang?

Eliminate

What features or ordering steps can be removed to make it easier for customers to use?

Rearrange

If you look, there are no questions or steps relevant to the problem above.

The questions above can produce answers to steps or ways to increase the number of customers for your services. Make sure you come up with concrete steps. For example, if you want to make a discount, ask again “How much? What services are discounted?”

Apart from using SCAMPER, you can also learn to hone your critical and creative thinking skills through a short training program from prasmul-eli!
You can learn directly from the experts! What are you waiting for, register and take the class by clicking here now!