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BW Businessworld

A New Era For Women

The best environment for growth is one that is disciplined and predictable, yet fosters innovation and empowerment – in short, a wise environment

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Wisdom is a necessity in business today. I define wisdom as the culmination of the human abilities of compassion, knowledge, logic, and humility, used in combination to assess situations, make decisions and take action. W isdom is not measured by what you know, but by what you are willing to learn.

In the world of business, the finance and accounting departments – for example – are not known for colleagues discussing their sapient ways. In fact, I cannot remember even conventional wisdom being invoked. However, when looking at wisdom as a framework of values mapped against knowledge and experience, the application is clear. The pursuit of wisdom develops a disciplined mind which leads directly to the ability to assess situations, make decisions, and take action. When it comes to business, decision-making is the defining ability that can drive success. The most compelling argument for the development of wisdom in business can be found at the executive level.

The dimensions of wisdom, as I have mapped them, have direct application in business. They are:

Build pattern recognition; embrace a strong work ethic; maintain truth and decorum; be comfortable not knowing; develop and use a values framework; link knowledge to imagination; apply constructive judgment; learn from elders; maintain emotional homeostasis; predict consequences in relationships; appreciate everything; reflect; develop self-efficacy; assess without bias or assumptions; make plans and goals; employ kindness; take wisdom’s path of curiosity to knowledge to action; trust independent thought.

Mapped out into these eighteen dimensions, the connection to business is clear. When combined, these dimensions create a complete decision-making framework that is less vulnerable to the traditional decision-making traps such as group think, confirmation bias, and recency effect, to name a few. Minimizing decision-making weaknesses is best achieved through a framework that can guide each decision. Understanding human decision-making is complex but so is the world we live in and the influences, knowledge, and experience we collect as humans.

The beauty of basing a framework for decisions on wisdom is the ability to utilize it at every level in an organization.

The need for greater creative analysis, that ability to balance information and ambiguity, is important in all areas of life but has implications for higher performance at all levels in companies. Using analytics and developing a capacity for “filling in the blanks” paves the path to creative anaylsis and opens the door to the use of wisdom which is the secret in developing this ability.

Finally, consistency in decision-making through the use of a well-developed framework will allow for greater confidence across teams – projects and major initiatives that require companies to be more nimble, take risks, and grow faster. When the path to assessing situations, making decisions, and taking action is clear, creativity and success grow in turn. The best environment for growth is one that is disciplined and predictable, yet fosters innovation and empowerment – in short, a wise environment.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Gabrielle V Taylor

Taylor leads a strategic management consultancy based in Littleton, Colorado and is author of Legacy of Wisdom

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