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How JFK Changed Decision Making...

POSTED IN: Cognitive Wingman

How John F. Kennedy Changed Decision Making for Us All

( older article, but some great points on decision support for leadership )

"after the Bay of Pigs Kennedy brilliantly retooled his group decision-making process. He ordered a review (keep in mind that not even the military was doing formal after-action reviews at the time) and subsequently instituted four changes to how his top team would make critical decisions:

  1. Each participant should function as a “skeptical generalist,” focusing on the problem as a whole rather than approaching it from his or her department’s standpoint.
  2. To stimulate freewheeling discussions, the group should use informal settings, with no formal agenda and protocol, so as to avoid the status-laden meetings in the White House.
  3. The team should be broken into sub-groups that would work on alternatives and then reconvene.
  4. The team should sometimes meet without Kennedy present, so as to avoid people simply following his views.

The whole idea was to solicit diverse viewpoints, stimulate debate, explore options, probe assumptions, and let the best plan win on its merits."



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About the Author

Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson

Hi! I like to play with data, analytics and hack around with robots and gadgets in my garage. Lately I've been learning about machine learning.

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Cognitive Wingman - Never Walk Alone

Created: December 20, 2016


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