About the Uncertainty Team
The Uncertainty Project team is a group of independent contributors that document, aggregate, and build on existing models and techniques. Many of these techniques are adapted by the Blueprint team particularly for strategy and group decision making. Many of these models come from sources across various industries, research projects, and time periods. The Uncertainty Project team aims to represent them in a way that can be actionable and useful to all kinds of teams and organizations.
First understand what is shaping the system, then nudge with changes that require minimal energy.
Vision statements influence strategy processes. Done correctly, they tap intrinsic motivation, while poorly crafted visions can lead to organizational skepticism.
Simple, inclusive facilitation techniques that distribute control and foster active participation in groups enhancing collaboration, creativity, and engagement.
Systematically identifying and testing underlying assumptions through targeted experiments
Complex systems benefit from "Simple Rules" to guide decisions, emphasizing flexibility, simplicity, and decentralized authority
Intentionally crafting the words and tone used in conversations to promote effective dialog, not gridlocked disagreements
Vanishing Options Test
A divergent thinking tool to help overcome anchoring bias and identify different options by eliminating the existing options
Evaluating decisions as "bets" against future uncertainties and measuring good/bad decisions based on process - distinguishing between skill and luck.
Leaders delegate decision making by creating boundaries of authority. Decision rights enables the speed and effectiveness of decentralized decision making.
Causal Decision Diagrams (CDD)
Causal Decision Diagrams help decision-makers visually capture the causal relationships between desired goals, the different choices of levers to pull, and any intermediate results that connect them.
Categorizes information into known knowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns, and unknown unknowns, helping navigate uncertainty and uncover risks
pre-set signals or checkpoints that trigger decisions, reviews, or actions when specific conditions are met, serving as early warning systems
BAIN & Company's decision making framework for clarifying roles and responsibilities
Evaluate potential risks and possibilities of negative outcomes by evaluating a decision from the perspective
Generate and revise probabilistic forecasts across a group of experts or leverage the 'wisdom of crowds' in a systematic way
Distinguishing between decision types help teams and organizations identify the level of risk and potential consequences associated with different options
Nominal Group Collaboration
Nominal group collaboration is a method of group decision making that involves structured, anonymous input from all members to generate a representative group viewpoint
Effectively prioritize and delegate decisions to keep the most important, urgent decisions front and center
Map the potential outcomes of a decision to visualize counterfactuals and surface potential risks
Effectively frame a decision in a clear, concise, and objective way to set up the process for productive dialog
DACI Roles & Responsibilities
The DACI framework is a simple, yet effective way to quickly identify roles and responsibilities in a decision making process.
The speed test is a tool for understanding when to go fast with a decision and when to go slow
Multi-Choice Decision Matrix
A decision matrix is a tool that is used to evaluate the potential options or choices in a decision making process.
‘Psychological Safety’ and embracing discomfort
Psychological Safety may be misunderstood as something that is 'comfortable' when in reality it's a model for dealing with necessary dissent in a productive way.
'Divergent Thinking' and tools to facilitate it
Optionality is critical in strategic decision making and it starts with how we think
How a tweak in team psychology helped define modern airline safety
The story of how 'Crew Resource Manage' transformed airline safety and a general exploration of how teams can and should foster productive disagreement.
Are we any good at planning?
We crave certainty - and detailed plans give us a false sense of certainty. In this thread, we explore whether or not we have the cognitive toolset for planning, how we mentally 'construct' strategies, and how we update our mental models to change course when necessary.
The role of conviction and narrative in decision making
Conviction as a superpower, why we tend to be overly optimistic, and how outcome trees help us map potential outcomes
Exploring goal setting and OKRs through the lens of decision making
Exploring how goals help teams make better decisions, strategic misrepresentation, and the power of 'Even Over' statements
How 'collective illusions' influence decision making
There's quite a bit we can learn from parallels to research on social norms and how culture develops - this thread explores a piece of that 👉
What optical illusions can tell us about our biases and heuristics
This is an excerpt from a newsletter post exploring the value (if any) of bias education and whether or not optical illusions are a good way to illustrate the impact of cognitive biases - or at least our unavoidable ignorance of them.
Artificial Intelligence vs Human Decision Making
With artificial intelligence tools 'going mainstream', we see a flood of conversations that say something like "will AI replace [role]?". This is exploring the difference in humans and machines from the perspective of decision making.
Communication starts well before a decision is made
We often think of communication as a post-decisions activity, but how can bring people along for the process to help smooth over even the most unpopular decisions?