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One of the challenge points on the Better World Books 2017 Reading […]
Irving Lester Janis
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Using cogent evidence and illustrations from studies of top-level policymakers in government, business, and public welfare organizations, Janis shows how the likelihood of failure is substantially reduced if sound procedures of information search, appraisal, and planning are used. He alerts executives to the preconditions, precipitating events, and catalysts that create situations where the most dangerous error of decisionmaking -- relying on simplistic decision rules -- often occurs. For issues perceived as routine or unimportant, Janis contends that policymakers typically resort to a "quick-and-easy" or "seat-of-the-pants" approach to decisionmaking. When that judgment is objectively incorrect, the results can be disastrous. Similarly, critical mistakes are made by policymakers coping with problems they regard as serious when they give priority to constraints which result in failure to carry out the crucial steps of effective problemsolving.
By following the four essential steps outlined by Janis,policymakers can adopt "vigilant problem solving," the high-quality procedural strategy for arriving at policy decisions When policymakers utilize the vigilant problem solving approach, they are likely to take full account of the various constraints involved in a situation and may even seek out additional information about them. Consequently, the risk of failure, especially in critical situations, is substantially lowered.
Janis also details how executives can deal with challenging threats and opportunities and reveals what specific leadership practices are likely to improve crisis management. A profile of twenty leadership practices will help managers function as effective executives who practice and promote high-quality decisionmaking on issues that affect the vital interests of the organization. A set of seventeen characteristics for selecting the best personnel for policymaking positions is also provided to aid managers in reducing their sources of error. Janis' highly acclaimed decisionmaking strategies give a powerful advantage to managers in all kinds of organizations, from the smallest family business to the largest corporation and government agency.
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