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How do would be consultants overcome cognitive biases and how can it impact decision making?

In my brief career I have met some really talented people, some I have taken to following their LinkedIn profile to see what news and information they share and some just because of their thought process. I have a real interest of peoples minds and how people process information. From time to time we should take a step back out of our busy day and just look at how certain people operate; analysing how they dissect information, how they recall stuff and most importantly how they perform when complex information is presented, especially in something as challenging as D365 F&O.


But for consultants aspiring to the pinnacle of their profession, understanding and mitigating the influence of cognitive biases is crucial. These biases, often unnoticed, can skew reasoning and lead to less optimal decisions that not only impact immediate project outcomes but also long-term career trajectories.


So what are the pitfalls of cognitive biases?

Heuristics (heu-ris-tic), those mental shortcuts we rely on to make decision-making manageable, can often lead us astray. Biases like confirmation bias, where we favor information that confirms our preexisting beliefs, or overconfidence bias, which can blind us to our own limitations, are particularly perilous in consulting environments. For example, a consultant might prefer familiar functionalities in Microsoft D365 F&O, disregarding new, potentially more efficient customizations simply because they fall outside their comfort zone.


Can word Impacts affect D365 F&O Decision-Making

Consider a scenario where a consultant is tasked with optimizing a client’s supply chain management processes. An overreliance on familiar solutions (anchoring bias) might lead them to overlook innovative features in the latest D365 F&O update that could significantly enhance the client's operational efficiency. Such decisions not only affect project success but can also stifle the consultant's professional growth and innovation.


So how can this bias affect a budding consultant’s career?


Cognitive biases do more than affect individual decisions; they can erect barriers to a consultant's career advancement. The Dunning-Kruger effect, a cognitive bias wherein individuals overestimate their knowledge or ability, might prevent consultants from pursuing further education or specialisation, believing they already possess sufficient expertise.

So are there any strategies for mitigating biases?


Yes, there are a few but here are the best ones:


  1. Cultivate Awareness: Regular training sessions on cognitive biases can help consultants remain vigilant against their influence.

  2. Implement Structured Decision-Making Frameworks: Tools and frameworks that prompt consultants to consider a range of options and gather diverse viewpoints can dilute the effect of personal biases.

  3. Embrace Feedback: Creating a culture where feedback is openly given and received can help consultants recognize and correct bias-influenced decisions.

 

For consultants in the D365 F&O arena, mastering the art of unbiased decision-making is not just about improving immediate project outcomes—it’s about paving the way for long-term success in the industry. By recognizing and mitigating cognitive biases, consultants can ensure they not only deliver optimal solutions to clients but also continue to grow and advance in their careers.


How do you feel about this?

What is a good way to approach this issue?


I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

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