Shift to Digital-Grade Decision Making

How CIOs improve decision making by moving emotional intelligence from a personal competency to an enterprise-level discipline.

Think about the last time you made a decision, personal or professional. It was probably today — deciding what to eat for lunch, how to ask your boss for a raise or when to take that long overdue vacation. Humans are constantly making decisions. CIOs striving to be digital business leaders need to drive a new generation of digital-grade decision-making capabilities.

Leading a digital company to new avenues of decision making is not just about data and technology

Leading a digital company to new avenues of decision making is not just about data and technology,” says Jamie Popkin, vice president and Gartner fellow. “CIOs should use some of their resources to focus on the human elements of improved decision making, particularly in the form of emotional intelligence (EI).”

Value of EI in organizational decision making

Because EI — individuals’ ability to effectively deal with their and others’ emotions helps to overcome decision-making biases and adverse responses to urgency, CIOs who build key EI competencies across the organization make way for enterprise emotional intelligence (EEI). The result is improved and accelerated decision-making processes.

Delayed or pressured decision making can lead CIOs toward bad decisions and costly delays that technology can’t fix

“When faced with uncertainty, time pressure and fear of failure, we tend to fall back on preconceived notions and patterns that have worked in the past,” explains Popkin. “Delayed or pressured decision making can lead CIOs toward bad decisions and costly delays that technology can’t fix. This is where EEI comes into play.”

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Cultivating EEI

EI accounts for more than 90% of a person’s performance and success in technical leadership roles. However, moving it from a personal competency to an enterprise-level discipline requires strategic initiatives and investments.

“Building EEI is a bottom-up exercise that calls for an EI culture to be incorporated at the business-unit level,” Popkin says. “But investing in initiatives to raise EI to an enterprise-level discipline is a relatively new and not yet widespread practice.”

Momentum for EEI initiatives must be created to combat any resistance and realize the payback they provide. To get started, CIOs should:

  1. Evolve their knowledge of the concepts and benefits of EI
  2. Improve their own EI by building the emotional competencies that require the most attention into their daily routine
  3. Socialize the benefits of EI development to motivate employees to take it up themselves
  4. Look for people who have a demonstrated interest in developing their own EI to build an “EEI cross-enterprise team”

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