The Importance of External Objectivity


September 25, 2019

In our latest video series, Chris Paton talks to Richard Withers, a consultant specialising in Decision Games for the Pharmaceutical Industry. After 11 years of building up his very successful consultancy firm, he sold it and now works as a strategic advisor. Here’s Richard’s very own honest opinion of how he ended up in Decision Games due to his self-professed misdemeanours: 

“After securing a well-deserved 3rd in Physical Education from Cardiff I was launched into my first negotiation lesson – pacifying my father, who suggested sensibly the military may knock some sense into me. A short time later I left the army having led an “average” career leading unfortunate soldiers to places which I cannot name, not on the grounds of secrecy, but because I was lost. Halcyon days indeed. After (in ascending order of stress) business school, several different jobs and children, in 2004, with my wife Sarah, founded a consultancy serving the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Amongst other services we ran many, many “war games”. It seemed to go very well and our business was acquired in 2015. Now, after a 3 year non compete, Sarah wants me “out from under her feet”, she makes a good point, I need a fresh challenge”.

To be a resilient organisation that can be responsive to the unforeseen, the leadership must be willing to be vulnerable and to listen to other views from within and without the organisation, including competitors. It is human nature to avoid that which is less palatable. However, humans make decisions based on their observations and orientations of any given situation.

Situational Awareness is the state of being aware of what is happening, both individually and across the organisation. It is essentially a 360-degree check of your business.  With Pressure Testing, you can identify where more resources are necessary, thereby resolving problematic areas earlier. You can take risks and find the solutions in a safe environment before you launch a product or plan.

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