Decision-making is a crucial part of good business. The question then is ‘how is a good decision made? One part of the answer is good information, another part is experience in interpreting information.
Managers can be trained to make better decisions. They also need a supportive environment where they won’t be unfairly criticised for making wrong decisions. A climate of criticism and fear stifles risk-taking and creativity; managers will respond by ‘playing it safe’ to minimise the risk of criticism which diminishes the business’ effectiveness.
Decision-making increasingly happens at all levels of a business. The Board of Directors may make the strategic decisions about investment and direction of future growth. Managers may make the more tactical decisions about how they may contribute most effectively to the overall business objectives. But employees are increasingly expected to make decisions about the conduct of their own tasks and responses to customers. As a result careful recruitment and selection, good training, and enlightened management are important supports to good decision making.
How do you make the best possible decisions, knowing they will have an impact on your company's future?
There are strategies you can use to hone your decision-making skills. Making better, faster decisions will help you take advantage of business opportunities.
1. Review the problem/decision in a broad context to include as many perspectives as possible. But don’t procrastinate just to get another opinion.
2. Make decisions as much as possible on facts rather than emotion. It is good to challenge your gut instincts; use objective data to reinforce decisions.
3. Don’t hesitate to challenge the status quo. Staying in your comfort zone in order to be comfortable may lead you on the same path. Change does not necessarily take more effort.
4. Be open to others opinion but trust your own ability and ability of employees to make a well-reasoned decision.
5. Recognize that some constraints may influence the decision; financial constraints, practicality, and lack of resources to implement the decision may influence the path taken.
Decisions are not taken in isolation and the effects of any decision will depend on reactions of others. Competitive behaviour should be anticipated and can influence choices. In the end, the review process needs to be completed with minimum delays and decisions finalized. Respect for action taken with a firm unwavering approach or allowing responsible employees to decide will earn respect from the organization.
I hope this helps improve your decision making in the business. Please let me know your thoughts.