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The future of decision making is social and transparent

This interview was originally written by Suvi Lindström, and first published in Finnish on Ite wiki.

Decision Making is one of the main success factors of modern business. Decision Making skills are only increasing in value going forward. Self-direction and leadership skills were part of The Future of Jobs 2020 -report’s most valuable work skills of 2025 (Source: World Economic Forum).

Organizations still have a lot to learn in decision making and execution. Fingertip has developed a cloud-based SaaS platform to improve the transparency of Decision Making.

It all started when the founder, an experienced entrepreneur himself, Jaakko Pellosniemi observed business leadership from his own personal experience. Pellosniemi has gravitated towards responsible positions since the beginning of his career. While leading five different organizations, he understood that little coaching or tools were available for leadership.

– It felt like organizations kept on making the same mistakes, and we didn’t learn from them. The fundamental observation was, that we don’t have the ability to make good decisions, Pellosniemi recalls.

Studies have shown that knowledge work hasn’t increased in productivity for the past 20-odd years. Employees’ feeling of satisfaction on the job has also been in decline.

– Everyone around me was looking for meaning of work and motivation to work from it. Many people burn out just being a cog in a machine, without fulfilling their own goals or dreams.

Jaakko Pellosniemi
Fingertip’s idea is based on Jaakko Pellosniemi’s observation on leadership and work.

Process approach to a systematic issue

To prove his early hypothesis, Pellosniemi tagged along to observe CEOs from a close proximity. Indeed, a major challenge was discovered at the end of a decision making process’ life cycle: The decisions made never got off the ground, and the process for making good decisions never grew to be a part of the organizational culture.

Fingertip digitalizes the concept of high-quality decision making process, making it repeatable and reinforcing learning. The platform is methodologically based on the Social Decision Making concept, giving more employees an opportunity to participate in decision making. With time, companies benefit from better and faster decision making.

– Fingertip speeds up decision making, so we can make more decisions in a certain time frame. We start navigating the ship, that is our organization, with more speed and agility. We also reach our objectives faster and more frequently. According to our studies, only 0,5 decisions are made in an average meeting, indicating that we need to profoundly change the way we make decisions, Pellosniemi describes.

Customers will benefit from better decisions as well

There’s more than just how we work explaining the challenges. Pellosniemi reckons, that as the amount of available data grows exponentially, it makes it harder to get a grasp of the most essential data. Decisions, tasks, plans and objectives are linked in more ways than before, drawing a curtain in front of the causal connection. As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent remote working, more and more information remains hidden.

Fingertip filters out the irrelevant information for a plan or decision, enabling you to lead using the correct hypotheses and conclusions. Simple decisions can be highly automated in order to allocate valuable resources to the most strategically critical initiatives. Fingertip also includes a decision assistant, which helps to formalize data, assess data integrity and even figure out the best sentiments. It provides recommendations on upcoming deadlines and tasks to speed up execution.

Taking up Fingertip is surprisingly simple. Pellosniemi does recommend starting small and expanding it to more applications and business units.

– You should start with a few simple decisions on Fingertip: Describing and justifying them, making the decision, as well as documenting and scheduling execution. In the end all the participants should take part in giving feedback on the process and outcome. I recommend starting with one simple area, he says.

The goal of Fingertip is to assist knowledge workers in their work and decision making

Pellosniemi understands, that transparency in decision making might feel terrifying – from the employee’s and leader’s perspective. He does remind us, that we can never learn from mistakes that are swept under the rug.

– We must also consider the benefits. When high quality decision making is the norm, agility, responsibility and better services also benefit customers. The goal is to help each individual to become a better workers and decision-maker while being more self-directed. Fingertip also promises to come to the rescue, if platform implementation turns out challenging.

Towards shared leadership

Fingertip estimates that a better decision making process saves an hour of time from a knowledge worker’s day.

– Productivity improves, new initiatives are started faster and waiting times go down massively. We notice our weaknesses in decision making and learn from those, says Pellosniemi.

In his future scenario we are moving towards shared leadership. Pellosniemi invites everyone to tag along the journey towards social decision making. He suspects, that in the future, each of us need to provide evidence of being able to make tough decisions.

– In the future we will carry a portfolio of our decisions with our CVs. It shows, what types of decisions we have impacted and where we’ve had a central role on. Taking part in big decisions indicates how responsible and dependable we are.

– Nobody will ask what was decided and when, they’ll be interested in who decided and why.

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