The Chinese characters for Crisis have two symbols; the first is danger and the second is opportunity. During this pandemic there are many dangers facing decision-makers, but there are also hidden opportunities.
The dangers fall into two categories: personal and organizational dangers.
The personal dangers are extremely stressful. There are many uncertainties and rapid changes brought on by the raging coronavirus affects people, businesses, industries, and government. People overreacting to stress is a grave danger.
In order to make effective decisions, people must be calm. To be calm requires paying strict attention to the basics of living. Don’t skip meals, eat too much fast food, drink endless coffee, or take stimulants. To be calm requires having a good diet, eating regularly, and eating slowly. Maintaining a good diet provides the energy for effective decision-making.
Next, exercise at least half an hour at home or in your office. This will provide a calming effect on distress, anxiety, depression, or agitation which are common during a major crisis. Exercise calms the mind and the body.
If you’re taking medications to treat physical or emotional issues, don’t skip them during this pandemic. Taking them regularly will keep your symptoms from affecting your decision-making. Taking medications regularly will help maintain your health during this stressful period.
Anxiety and depressive episodes can deteriorate self-confidence and destroy objective decision-making. Overcoming emotional and mental tensions requires self-recognition. By first recognizing your anxiety or down moods you can take corrective action before they overwhelm you.
Emotional and Mental Corrections
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Meditation is widely recognized in business circles as a highly effective tool to calm the mind and emotions needed to make effective decisions.
Just 10 or 15 minutes of daily meditation in your home or office relieves emotional and mental stress helps create the calmness required for problem-solving effective decision making.
The Isolation common among decision-makers can increase during a crisis. CEOs, executives, managers and business owners need candid discussions of important issues, potential conflicts and personal emotional reactions that they face during a crisis. Staying isolated is a grave danger.
Decision-makers need to find trusted tea members, family, friends and advisers to talk candidly about the business and personal distresses they are facing. They need support from others for discussing hard issues and gaining social and emotional grounding.
Engaging rather than isolating brings self-confidence, knowledge and the calmness for effective decision-making.
The Dangers and Organizational Decision-Making
This pandemic brings constant, rapid changes that affect basic business operations. Some industries like airlines, entertainment, restaurants and other large and small businesses are closing and curtailing operations. There are financial survival issues, decisions about daily operation, personnel decisions and how to gain government support for business operations.
Tools for Decision-Making
Important decision-making tools involve people and predictive analytics. High quality organizational decision-making especially during a crisis requires people with different personalities and skills.
Decision-making teams require people who are detail oriented, who pay attention to the facts of every situation. They are essential for the first step in effective decision-making. They are grounded in finding facts rather than be distracted by speculation or the emotional climate of crisis. They must be the first part in making good decisions by finding what are the essential facts of any situation.
Big picture people are necessary for making effective decisions. They take the facts from the detail people and offer various interpretations of what the facts mean and provide action plans for each possible outcome.
People with strong analytical abilities and logical thinking take the fact-based alternatives from the big picture team members and logically offer concrete decisions.
Before a final decision is made, feeling skilled people make their contributions to the effective decision-making process by providing input to how various decisions will affect stakeholders, staff, clients and customers. Their input is essential especially during a crisis when the emotional impact of decisions on key constituencies it is essential.
Not all decision-making teams have people with the skills. A decision-making team leader who recognizes the missing skilled people should go outside of the team and get feedback from people with the required skills to increase the effectiveness of the decision-making.
Predictive Analytics and Decision-Making
Predictive analytics involve mathematical and statistical tools for analyzing a great amount of information. It produces models for predicting specific outcomes of complex business situations. It offers concrete decision alternatives and specific action plans.
It is applied to a wide range of business situations including personnel and performance issues, administrative and management issues, sales and business development, product and service development.
Predictive analytics is also applied to understand key people involved in business transactions to understand their motivations, psychological makeup and predict their actions in real time business situations.
Predictive Analytics and the Corona Virus Pandemic
There are many databases concerning the demographics, health dynamics, healthcare strategies, economic facts and data concerning the coronavirus. Individual industries and companies have data about how this pandemic is affecting their businesses. They have developed business questions that must be answered in light of the pandemic.
The inputs required for predictive analytics are available and are used in developing specific decision-making models for dealing the business challenges during the pandemic. It is the tool of choice for making effective decisions.
What Are the Opportunities during This Crisis?
On the personal level, this crisis offers the opportunity for people to develop and use stress reducing strategies and behaviors for effective daily living and effective decision-making. They can become grounded in a lifestyle where protects them against distress and supports personal health and well-being. It is an opportunity for self-reliance and calmness of body mind and spirit.
This crisis offers opportunities for developing management and decision-making skills. It can accelerate and strengthen team decision-making.
Using predictive analytics to manage crisis decision-making and discovering business opportunities inherent in the effects of the pandemic on the business environment.
Harry Keshet, PhD. Human Interaction Solutions, LLC