Decision-making has been one of the principal victims of 'modern' thinking.
The 'analytical' approach has, of course, brought us vaccines, electricity and the internal combustion engine.
But, in seeking to break things down into their component parts and improve the parts, governments and businesses continue to make some astonishingly bad decisions.
What's more, many enterprises still pay close attention to 'decisions' whilst overlooking the bigger picture: the organizational system within which those decisions get made.
The book sets out to change our 'analytical' habit and invites enterprises to consider the bigger picture.
Author Vince Barabba explains an elegantly simple approach to making better decisions.
He calls this approach 'The Decision Loom' and bases it on Systems Thinking, Design Thinking and Complexity Theory.
Drawing on a lifetime of experience, Vince Barabba sets out, in The Decision Loom, the four core capabilities that any organization needs to put in place to make his proposed approach to decision-making work. They cover 1) having an 'Enterprise Mindset that is open to change', 2) thinking and acting holistically, 3) having an adaptable business design and 4) using the right combination of problem-solving and decision-making methods.
Part 1 of the book - The Journey - chronicles the author's professional life, focusing on more than 30 'Lessons Learned'.
To name just one: 'Surface and make explicit the underlying assumptions that would have to be true for your particular problem-solving approach to prevail.' Each lesson is derived from - and illustrated by - his professional experience in major political campaigns and at Xerox, Kodak, GM, the U.S.
Census Bureau and elsewhere. Part 2 describes an 'Interactive Decision Loom', sets out the capabilities required to make it work, and sketches an 'idealized design' for creating a Decision Loom in your own organization.
It focuses on the process of inquiry (which must underpin decision-making), anticipating problems, and the four core organizational (not individual) capabilities needed in a dynamically complex organization (that is to say, all organizations). The four capabilities all draw on the lessons learned in Part 1 of the book and are illustrated by brief case studies from: LEGO, Xynteo, Patagonia Clothing, Nintendo, Cisco, and McDonald's.
If you choose to create a Decision Loom yourself in your own organization, the outcome will be: Greater interaction across the enterprise leading to an enterprise that is greater than the sum of its parts.