Business Support or Business Partner – You Decide

This is the first of a series on decision-making.

We use the term “Business Partner” a lot in our functional groups. There is an HR Business Partner, an IT Business Partner – you get the idea. To a large degree, the ability of you as an HR Pro to be a partner with your businesses is in part dependent on your ability to problem solve and make good decisions. So I ask you – do you understand your decision-making process and is it a good one?

There are lots of ways we make our decisions. Much depends on our experience, which allows our intuitions to get a jump on a problem. At the same time, jumping to conclusion can result in a bigger problem. Sometimes we rely on detailed analysis of a problem, always looking for one more piece of data to either support our intuition or make the answer as clear as possible.

Over the next several posts, I propose to share some problems with you, and perhaps give you some insight into how your decision process works. Because once you know how it works, you can make it better, right? Or at least take better advantage of how it works.

Here are today’s problems. They both require a simple and direct answer. Your are to decide what that answer is. If you want to record your answer in the comments, fine. But at least write them down on a notepad or somewhere and when Monday rolls around, I’ll share the answers, a little bit about how to get to those answers, and some new (and maybe harder) problems that require a decision.

  1. Together, a ball and a bat cost $1.10.  The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
  2. Hiking Harry likes two-day hikes. He camps out on a peak on the night between the two days. At 6am Saturday, Harry starts to hike up a modest 3,000 ft mountain. He stops along the way to rest, enjoy the views, take a few photos with his phone, and to just commune with nature. He arrives at the campsite at 6pm.  The next morning, he breaks camp and heads down the same trail, leaving at 6am. Again, he takes his time, but the downhill is generally easier. At 2pm he arrives at the trailhead where he began his journey the day before. Is there a place on this trail that Harry passes at exactly the same time of day on both days?  (Note that the problem is only asking you if there is a place, not asking you to solve for where that place might be.)

That’s it! Answers and questions continue on Monday!

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