4 LESSONS FROM THE CIA FOR CEO DECISION MAKING

Author: Glenn Levar

Glenn Levar
Glenn Levar
  • Glenn Levar
    Glenn Levar
    Glenn Levar
    Glenn Levar

Blog post by Glenn Levar, CEO of Shared Time Human Resources Management 

Few business leaders evaluate and consistently review the quality of decision-making in their organizations. There is too little time to look back, say many CEOs, and results are often murky or inconclusive, even in retrospect. 

Intelligence failures by the CIA leading up to the Iraq war forced a thorough overhaul of agency decision-making processes, says The New York Times. There are valuable lessons for CEOs from that review in the way we evaluate employees, understand customers and anticipate competitors:

Be skeptical in evaluating information: Understand where specific information came from to help evaluate its accuracy–and relevance. Too often, decisions are made with faulty data, leading to undesirable outcomes. Solve this problem by asking people to source information on major assertions.

Be more cautious in drawing conclusions: The same information can be
interpreted in multiple ways by different people. Provide opportunity in your
organization for conclusions to be challenged by alternative viewpoints. The
CIA, for example, sets up “red teams” that are specifically tasked with finding
weaknesses, errors and bias. April 5, 2012 Marshall Cooper ChiefExecutive.net

Please view the article here

Mr. Levar can be reached at grlevar@sthrm.com