I know an organization that consciously avoids decision making. It’s their default position and it seems as though they’re always losing ground. Compare that to Apple’s Steve Jobs legacy of arrogant decisiveness!
Organizations make a vast aray of individual and collective decisions. Yet, save for a few like Richard Branson many give little thought to the issue!
Authors Gary Williams and Robert Miller note that executives have a default style of decision making developed early in their careers and fall into one of five categories of decision making styles:
- Charismatics are easily intrigued and enthralled by new ideas, but make decisions based on balanced information
- Thinkers are risk-averse and need as much data as possible before coming to decisions
- Skeptics are suspicious of data that don’t fit their worldview and, thus, make decisions based on their gut feelings
- Followers make decisions based on how other trusted executives, or they themselves, have made similar decisions in the past
- Controllers focus on the facts and analytics of decisions because of their own fears and uncertainties
Jeff Goins gives us some insights from the writer’s perspective: When You Don’t Know What to Do
- Just pick something. Be honest. Very few choices in life are make-or-break decisions. Hard to believe, but sometimes there is no wrong choice. You just need to do something.
- Move forward. Don’t get stuck in self-doubt or feeling sorry for yourself. The best way to beat indecision is to build momentum. No hesitation, just motion. Move.
- Accept the consequences. If you fail, own it and move on. There’s nothing productive about wallowing in self-pity. Don’t be burdened by regret. Fail forward. Learn from your mistakes. And move on to the next choice.
What’s your decision making approach?
Here is a simple solution focused approach to help with outcomes-based decision making:
Ask youself (and your colleagues) the following questions:
- Suppose a year from now (or your time frame) this decision was a good one, what would be happening? How would it be helping me? How would it help others? What would be my first steps towards implementing the decision?
- Suppose I chose not to make this decision what would be happening (time frame) from now? How would that choice be helping me and others?
- Thinking of the two answers rank each on a scale of 1-10, 1 being least appealing and 10 being ideal. Compare and decide.
In other words…
think first about solution outcomes…
not just the decision!