Dartmouth’s recommendation on the process of decision-making Problem solving is something that everyone has to do. Sometimes decisions are so simple that you don’t give much thought to it. At other times, decision-making can be very complex with a large number of possible outcomes. When business leaders face complex problems in their organizations, the outcome of their decisions can have ripple effects throughout the organization. So the question deserves to be asked: how are these problems addressed. Going with the first thing that pops into your head isn’t always going to be the best answer, nor the most complete answer. Sometimes, we decide to “jump off the bridge and build a parachute on the way down.” However, it isn’t until after we have jumped off the bridge that we realize that we should have jumped a bit more to the left or to the right, then struggle, sometimes in vain, to attempt to compensate. Other times, perhaps, it is simply the wrong bridge. Or perhaps someone had already built an elevator.
How to maximize the effectiveness of decisions in a minimal amount of time.
As business leaders, we are required to make decisions all day, every day. For smaller companies, that may look like ongoing idea generation and decision-making might focus on whether or not to execute and how to do it. In a larger business, attention might be focused on customers, employees, vendors and other stakeholders that require information from you and your team.
In either space, decisions are made in three ways: the wild guess, the informed guess and information-based factual answers. Unfortunately, the last is often the most difficult to come by. When doing a product launch, you cannot tell how well the product will be received. When you are doing sales projections, again, these are based on guesses – ideally, informed guesses.
So why is this important?
“To see how well you are doing, you’ve got to know where you’ve been,” should be plastered everywhere we go. One of my mentors once told me that he spends his one hour drive home reflecting on the day, how it went, what went well and what he would do differently. He told me that … Read more