Leaders Framework for Decision Making

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In Australia, over the past decade, there has been extensive and unprecedented change in the business environment. There is every indication that the pace of change will intensify during this decade. Managers therefore have taken quite correctly the view that there is only one constant in business, and that is change.

To help guarantee the long term survival of the business, good leaders will respond to these changes. Leadership styles are often characterised by the management theory in place. This influences the framework that leaders apply to an organisations environmental change.

The framework sorts the issues facing leaders into 5 contexts, defined by the nature of the relationship between cause and effect. Four of these simple, complicated, complex and chaotic require leaders to diagnose situations and to act in contextually appropriate ways. The fifth “disorder” applies when it is unclear which of the other 4 contexts is predominant. This framework is known as “Cynefin” which signifies that multiple factors in our environment and our experience influence us in ways we can never understand, using this framework it helps leaders sense which context they are in, so than can not only make better decisions but also avoid the problems that arise when their preferred management style causes them to make mistakes.

In 1911, Fredrick W. Taylor published the principles of scientific management, this management theory emphasises the simple and complex context of the Cynefin framework in the leadership function. Simple context are characterised by stability and clear cause and effect relationships. Often the right answer is self evident and undisputed in the realm of known knowns decisions are unquestioned because all parties share an understanding. Simple contexts that are properly assessed require straight forward management and monitoring. Here leaders sense, categorise and respond, directors are straight forward, decisions can be easily delegated and...
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