領導實務的反思 #4 — 正確,就要堅持

Reflection from “Monday Morning Leadership” #4 — The “Do Right” Rule

如果要我選出一個在職涯發展上最重要的特質,我會選擇 Integrity — 根據 Cambridge Dictionary 網站定義,"the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change",不僅是人資從業者最應具體實踐的信念,也是許多職人躍升要角時的道德挑戰「我要怎麼忍住誘惑,展現公正,『堅持勇於做對的事』?」

主人翁傑夫很快就遇到了這樣的為難處境:在盤點團隊人力時,他發現自己的評估有嚴重的人為偏誤,過去他所仰賴的 top performer 其實並非真正的 super star — 就商業成果上,並未能有實際優異的業績事實予以佐證。

這時不得不引用奉為圭臬的 Google Work Rules 書中所謂績效管理的「校準作業」設定:在開始進行績效作業前給予主管一份檢核表,強化公正評核的認知,並要求決策者承擔責任去避開「無意識偏見」的陷阱。

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從研究「認知偏見」獲頒諾貝爾經濟學獎的卡尼曼的相關調查指出「透過發掘和消除團隊思維中的缺陷,管理高層建立起『有品質的決策流程』,能有效減少偏差影響並提高組織正向產出」。而麥肯錫另一份對 1,000 多項商業投資的研究亦證實,當公司努力減少偏差影響時,ROI 將提高 7%!

以下節錄「品質決策的問題檢核表」,協助我們有紀律地作出更佳決策:)

***Decision Quality Control: A Checklist***
- Questions that decision makers should ask themselves -1. Is there any reason to suspect motivated errors, or errors driven by the self-interest of the recommending team?
- Decision makers should never directly ask the people making the proposal this. After all, it's nearly impossible to do so without appearing to question their diligence and even their integrity, and that conversation cannot end well.
2. Have the people making the recommendation fallen in love with it?
- All of us are subject to the affect heuristic: When evaluating something we like, we tend to minimize its risks and costs and exaggerate its benefits; when assessing something we dislike, we do the opposite.
3. Were there dissenting opinions within the recommending team?
- If so, were they explored adequately? In many corporate cultures, a team presenting a recommendation to a higher echelon will claim to be unanimous.

- Questions that decision makers should ask the team making recommendations -
4. Could the diagnosis of the situation be overly influenced by salient analogies?
- Many recommendations refer to a past success story, which the decision maker is encouraged to repeat by approving the proposal.
5. Have credible alternatives been considered?
- In a good decision process, other alternatives are fully evaluated in an objective and face-based way. Yet when trying to solve a problem, both individuals and groups are prone to generating one plausible hypothesis and then seeking only evidence that supports it.
6. If you had to make this decision again in a year, what information would you want, and can you get more of it now?
- One challenge executives face when reviewing a recommendation is the WYSIATI assumption: What you see is all there is.
7. Do you know where the numbers came from?
- A focused examination of the key numbers underlying the proposal will help decision makers see through any anchoring bias. Questions to ask include: Which numbers in this plan are facts and which are estimates? Where these estimates developed by adjusting from another number? Who put the first number on the table?
8. Can you see a halo effect?
- The effect is at work when we see a story as simpler and more emotionally coherent than it really is. As Phil Rosenzweig shows in the book The Halo Effect, it causes us to attribute the successes and failures of firms to the personalities of their leaders.
9. Are the people making the recommendation overly attached to past decisions?
- Companies do not start from scratch every day. Their history, and what they learn from it, matter.

- Questions focused on evaluating the proposal -
10. Is the base case overly optimistic?
- Most recommendations contain forecasts, which are notoriously prone to excessive optimism. On contributing factor is overconfidence.
11. Is the worst case bad enough?
- Many companies, when making important decisions, ask strategy teams to prose a range of scenarios, or at least a best and a worst case.
12. Is the recommending team overly cautious?
- On the flip side, excessive conservatism is a source of lesss visible but serious chronic underperformance in organizations. Many executives complain that their teams' plans aren't creative or ambitious enough.

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