Being a trusted leader during uncertainty Being a leader of an organization is truly a difficult task. At the same time, for me, it has been one of the most rewarding opportunities I have had in my life. Becoming a leader has caused me to stretch and grow in ways that I’d never imagined. I have led teams and won… I have led teams and lost. But no matter what, I have always been committed to learning and being a better leader.
The first step towards making good decisions is simply to stop making bad ones. The same principle can be applied to developing business strategies. In order to stop following bad strategies, you must recognize the absence of good strategies. Richard Rumelt gives a great example of how to define a good strategy. He states that a good strategy has “coherence, coordinating actions, policies, and resources so as to accomplish an important end.” (Rumelt, 2011, p.11). Fortunately, business has provided countless examples of good and bad strategies that provide unofficial guidelines for the do’s and don’ts of strategy making. The following are examples of tools and methods that any company can use to identify, build, and sustain good strategy development.
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?
The value of involving your stakeholders in company decisions
Imagine you were driving around town with family members with your convertible top down, zipping in and out of traffic, maneuvering brilliantly around slower moving vehicles and taking hairpin corners with squealing tires and flying gravel. Does that sound like fun to you? Imagine the exhilaration – the adrenaline rush – your heart pumping…just a complete thrill to those who love to drive!
If you have ever posted a thought or idea on Twitter (follow me while you are there! – Aepiphanni), you can probably tell from the response that the time taken to create and post the tweet barely made am impact. Just because you posted it didn’t make it go viral. Because it was brilliant, thought provoking, extraordinary, even, didn’t make people re-tweet it and discuss it until it trended. As a matter of fact, if you asked many of your followers if they’d seen it, most would probably say that they had missed it and might be kind enough to look for the next one.
But we do the best we can with what we have. We throw the boat in the water to see if it will float. The question we have to ask ourselves is: “Is this good enough.” Well – if you are into mediocrity, perhaps it is.