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Evan Davis on... instinct or analysis

Updated Saturday 14th February 2009

The Bottom Line considers whether the way your company is structured may be a key influence on how you take decisions.

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Copyright The Open University

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Copyright The Open University

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Our next discussion was on decision making. Now I think this is an absolutely fascinating topic.

There’s an enormous interest at the moment in the way people make decisions and the effect of, if you like, emotions and the way the brain works on the process of rational pondering, rational consideration of things.

And I was trying to draw a distinction among the group, trying to draw the distinction between whether they analyse to make decisions or whether they use their instinct, and what worked rather well in our panel was that Toni of Toni & Guy obviously was pure instinct, the other two were pure sort of consideration and thought.

Now I think that is the difference between a public company where you have shareholders to whom you’re accountable and the private company like Toni & Guy where, you know, Toni’s really only accountable to his daughter, Sacha, as he said.

What was also interesting was how the other two in public companies essentially said persuasion is a large part of the decision making process; you have to be seen to make the decision in a way that takes everybody’s views on board because you have to carry everybody else with them whereas Toni, of course, didn’t have any such concerns.

So that discussion really, I thought, got the distinction across extremely clearly.

 

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