MAKING EFFECTIVE DECISIONS
As business owners making decisions is the single most important function that you have. Unfortunately there is very little training available for the decision making process. The following are a few thoughts on how to develop and implement an effective decision making process.
- The first step is to determine why a decision is necessary. What are the consequences if a decision is not made?
- The next step, if the determination is to go ahead with the decision, is to fully understand the issue which requires a decision. Make a list of all the items that brought you to the point of making a decision.
- Analyzing the possible solutions that have to be developed and implemented when the decision is made is the next step. This involves breaking down the solutions into components to make sure that they provide the desired results. In this part of the process other factors come in such as time and cost. If possible, solicit input from employees, your support group, a trusted advisor and listen to their comments.
- An effective decision making process requires courage. It is possible that after a complete analysis the best decision is not to make a decision.
“Good decision makers know that decision making has its own process and its own clearly defined elements and steps. Every decision is risky: it is a commitment of present resources to an uncertain and unknown future. Ignore a single element in the process and the decision will tumble down like a badly built wall in an earthquake. But if the process is faithfully observed and if the necessary steps are taken, the risk will be minimized and the decision will have a good chance of turning out successful.”
One of my worst fears is to walk into a client’s office and be greeted with “I have made a decision to change…..” Without being offensive and negative about the new directions, I have to step back and walk my client through this process. The reason I give for this review is for me to better understand the reasoning behind the decision and how I can best help him stay true to his vision.
A note of caution, there are owners who dance around decisions without ever making them and without ever analyzing the steps necessary to determine their value. No decision is just as bad a decision made in a “vacuum.”
Decisions are the hardest thing to make, especially when it is a choice between where you should be and where you want to be.
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