How effective is your decision-making?

Andrew Silver, Founder of 360 Growth Partners shares his thoughts on growth mindset

‘When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier’
Roy E Disney

In a very uncertain world our company values, vision and mission can give us some stability and clarify priorities.

They can provide the foundations for our decision-making, both the what and the how.  That apart we are all operating in a world where the only constant is change. In the digital age the speed and agility of your decision-making is imperative.

Gather the data

Consider the likely impact of the decision you’re making. The greater the impact the greater the need for consultation, deliberation and research. However if you’re working in a fast paced entrepreneurial business or start up situation be very aware of missing the opportunity. Jeff Bezos talks about making ‘high velocity’ as well as ‘high quality’ decisions. Most decisions should be made with 70% of the information you wish you had.

Are you getting in the way of decisions?!

The pace of change means that top down decision-making is too slow and you need to enable decisions to be made at all levels of the organisation.

To quote Ken Blanchard

‘get off the pitch and let your team play.’

As business leaders are we leading by example? 360 Growth Partners work with many business owners who want clear accountability and effective decision making but it starts with you. How do you measure up? Is there a clarity of decision making at the top? The impact of poor decision making by senior management can often have far reaching and sometimes hidden implications for the whole organisation.

What is the decision?

Be clear about the overall goal, define the scope and timescale for finding a solution. Is it a priority? Who is responsible for making the decision? It might be that the decision is more complex and requires the creation of a project team. Consider who might be affected by the outcome and therefore might need to be involved?

Getting the right skills and attitudes on board

Remember that you are looking for the right balance of skills, knowledge and attitudes to find the best solution. You need different personality types in the debate but appreciate that they will work through decisions in different ways and speeds. Also have a look at De Bono’s ‘Six Thinking Hats’ for looking at decisions from different perspectives.

Eat the elephant one bite at a time

Big decisions can be broken down. Get off the fence as quickly as possible and start making small steps towards answering the larger question. The ultimate destination might well change but at least you can make some good progress on the journey.

Communicating the decision

So you’ve been struggling with a key business decision, you have deliberated at length with your senior leadership team. You’ve finally decided the best course of action – decision made, job done. Unlikely!! Now comes the difficult part, particularly if it will mean change for the organisation. How are you going to bring people with you? Don’t overlook people’s emotional needs. People are less interested in the decision itself and more interested in what that decision means to them.

So what are you waiting for? Take those first steps to making those decisions that will help you reach your vision. As Peter Drucker said

‘whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.’