There isn’t a day that does not come without decisions to make. And rarely should you approach a decision, especially one that affects more than yourself, flippantly. Decisions should not be a senior executive’s prerogative. As a manager or a leader of an organization or cause, it is your responsibility to make sound choices for the collective.
While mistakes are understandable, publications such as the Harvard Business Review provide a framework that “smart organizations” most likely use to make better decisions with positive outcomes.
What does the Harvard Business Review tell us?
- Identification. Managers should begin by listing and then prioritizing decisions. Forgetting to prioritize runs the risk of treating each decision equally, generally not a real scenario.
- Inventory. When you have identified the decisions, it’s time to take stock of the factors involved, such as frequency, roles required, supporting information, processes to consider, and possible outcomes.
- Intervention. After the list of decisions has been whittled down and considering factors that may affect them, it’s crucial for you to formally design the roles, processes, and behaviors needed to make the decisions. And, don’t forget to add execution to this equation.
- Institutionalization. Now that you understand that there is more to making a decision, it’s wise for a company or organization to participate in the routine. Companies that are serious about it hire decision experts to work with executives. Who knew? Chevron reportedly has a “decision-analysis” group whose members conduct decision workshops and train employees in the thousands. The company also audits decisions and their outcomes. They call them “lookbacks.”
While no one is immune to poor judgment calls, there are ways to lessen risk with a systematic approach to decision making.
Source: HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Making Smart Decisions, 2013