Strategic decision making – Avoiding 20 cognitive biases

What is strategic decision?

Compare to normal decisions that we take every day, strategic decision has different flavour. Strategic decision affects whole organisation in multiple aspects. In broad terms strategic decision is any decision which impacts more than one person/group & impact of it is not only dependent on our decision but on others decisions too.

Examples of normal decisions

  • When to eat?
  • When to cross road?
  • Which product to buy?

Examples of strategic decisions

  • Which route to take to reach beach early?
  • How to make people select option 1 out of 2?
  • How to increase revenue by 5%?

As we can learn from above examples, there are few obvious points which differentiates strategic decisions. They are

  • To reach beach early we may tend to take easy route (shortest, with less traffic etc.) but what if everyone takes such easy route? This means we may also get impacted by other’s decisions
  • Similarly every strategic decisions have definite measurable goal (increase revenue by 5%)

20 Cognitive biases to avoid while making strategic decision

Cognitive biases to avoid while making strategic decision



Balance all your decisions based on six hat theory. Six distinct directions are identified and assigned a color. The six directions are

  • Managing Blue – what is the subject? what are we thinking about? what is the goal? Can look at the big picture.
  • Information White – considering purely what information is available, what are the facts?
  • Emotions Red – intuitive or instinctive gut reactions or statements of emotional feeling (but not any justification)
  • Discernment Black – logic applied to identifying reasons to be cautious and conservative. Practical, realistic.
  • Optimistic response Yellow – logic applied to identifying benefits, seeking harmony. Sees the brighter, sunny side of situations.
  • Creativity Green – statements of provocation and investigation, seeing where a thought goes. Thinks creatively, outside the box.


Avoid cognitive biases 🙂


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