Fast and intuitive IP decision making

U.S. Air Force firefighters battle

How to make good IP decisions when there’s no time to spare, in a complex and rapidly evolving world? Can you balance multiple perspectives and factors in the heart of the moment? (legal, technical, market, brand, business goals, corporate politics…).

How do you do that effectively, and quickly?

Naturalistic decision making has some interesting and useful answers. A lot of the insights in this area have come from observing people making life and death decisions with very little time, such as firefighters and the military, but it applies much more broadly.

It turns out that people don’t analyse a list of options when faced with an important and time critical decision particularly in ambiguous circumstances. Instead we do a rapid scan of our memories for patterns and similarities in past experiences. We check these against the current situation, find the first that would work, and start to apply it. We stop and adjust again each time we identify another issue.

Even more interesting is that many decisions that are not time critical are also made this way.

You can think of those memories and patterns as a slide deck that your brain rapidly sorts through. So the short answer to how to make better decisions, faster is to increase the number and quality of slides in your deck. That comes from lots of useful experience, but it also turns out that it doesn’t have to be from actual, real life events to create an effective slide in your deck.

Can you think of possible ‘crisis’ situations where you are going to have to respond quickly?

How can you prepare for these and give your team the right, high quality slides to draw on?

(Our Wargames and IP Playbook are designed for just that.)

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