We asked the industry experts...

How to make effective decisions in times of ambiguity

Jeff Gothelf - Coach, Speaker, Author & Consultant

Jeff Gothelf
Coach, Speaker & Author: Agility, Digital Transformation, Product Management & HCD

Make small, reversible decisions that can be tested quickly and adjusted based on evidence.

Know more about Jeff Gothelf →
Matthias Seifert, Professor of Decision Sciences IE Business School

Matthias Seifert
Professor of Decision Sciences at IE Business School

Plan for contingencies. Consistently trade off upside potential and downside risk. And don’t be afraid to use probability judgments as a systematic tool for communicating risk.

Know more about Matthias Seifert →
Matt Marsh, Business Breakthrough Specialist. Consultant, Coach, Author & Visiting Professor

Matt Marsh
Business Breakthrough Specialist, Consultant, Coach, Author, Visiting Professor

Embrace the reality that the ambiguity can't be miraculously erased. Instead, be ready to pivot if evidence shows that things aren’t working out as expected.

Know more about Matt Marsh →

Flooris Van der Walt
Author, Executive, Mindset Transformational Coach

In my mind, there are two anchor points you have to have during times of ambiguity. Know yourself very well with all your strengths and challenges and compensate your challenges with the best minds of others. Through the reflective interaction, you will be able to make the most effective decisions in the moment. As the variables change, you will have to keep the reflection alive to adjust a quickly as possible.

Know more about Flooris Van der Walt →
Kriti Jain, Expert on Leadership Decision Making, Diversity & Inclusion, Organizational Change

Kriti Jain
Business Breakthrough Specialist, Consultant, Coach, Author, Visiting Professor

Making decisions is like going to the gym, where after working on a particular muscle repetitively, it feels tired. Under ambiguity, decision-making involves the skills of agility and flexibility and that easily causes fatigue. Simple strategies could be used to manage such fatigue. One simple tool is to create checklists. Pilots and surgeons - who deal with high stake situations - vouch for it. Scenario planning is the other one that helps prepare for contingencies.

Know more about Kriti Jain →
Paul Hunter, Strategic Management Institute Managing Director

Paul Hunter
Managing Director of the Strategic Management Institute

Decision making in an environment of ambiguity will be more effective though the adoption of strategies of adaptation and invention. Adaptation is the management of forces of change that are expected or unexpected, internal or external but beyond control. Invention is the design and implementation of programs of deliberate, sometimes disruptive change that is within control.

Know more about Paul Hunter →

Related Questions

Headspring is a joint venture between the Financial Times and IE Business School established in 2015. Our highly influential FT journalists deliver a unique perspective on the events that shape the world of business, and our IE faculty brings an entrepreneurial mindset with a sharper edge and greater impact through technological immersion and a culture of innovation.