We make decisions every second of each day, good ones sometimes, bad ones at other times; even reading this was a decision – a good one in this case.
Every successful business is a product of a series of persistent good business choices. However, the fact that they were good decisions doesn’t mean they did not each have their own risks of success or failures.
No one can plainly define a clear view of the total outcome(s) of the decisions they make. However, if we consider it linearly and constructively, we can access most of the possible outcomes beforehand. Following such constructive valuations, we can also make quality risk assessments. These crucial steps very often prove vital upon implementing business decisions.
Meanwhile, dealing with the rigor of decision making and making the right choices (also considering risks of failures or success) is never an easy task. Even the best professionals very often face various forms of difficulties. The challenges range; they may be personal (like the presence of individual insecurities), or external (like insufficient intel to measure/cut losses), etc. These limitations can quickly diminish confidence and focus, causing one to take inadequately balanced risks when trying to settle on pressing decisions.
When making business decisions, it is essential to employ appropriate decision-making guidance every time. Safety measures like this can help wield the desired outcome(s) your way quickly and more effortlessly. To achieve this, you must first put your options through the basic range test, which include:
- Identifying the problem
- Generating alternative solutions
- Evaluating/Choosing among alternate solutions
- Implementing and monitoring chosen solutions
Also, you must approach your decision(s) following feasible decision-making methodologies.
Fundamental Decision-making Methodologies
1. The Pro/Cons Sheet Methodology
Developing a balance sheet of elaborate outcomes and alternatives is the first step in the right direction when making crucial business decisions. This methodology is adapted from Problem-solving, where it is also a vital technique. Meanwhile, problem-solving and decision making are both interconnected since, in both cases, the desired outcome must be reached.
You can quickly implement this strategy with the use of simple everyday items like a pen and a piece of paper. Draw a line to divide the sheet into two halves. Define one portion for your pros and the other for cons. Following this, simply elaborate on why one alternative is better compared to the other. You can build your facts based on the smaller risks involved in one, compared to the other, and so on. Also, state your various assumptions concerning the different alternatives you have listed in the same manner.
This technique relies on the documentation of facts and assumptions and is very reliable and practical.
2. The Six Thinking Hats Methodology
This stimulating technique offers six different virtual hats (or ways) of looking into any situation/decision. The first is the facts hat, followed by the feelings hat, and then creativity, process, benefits, and cautions.
Their own unique colors represent each of the hats. Each color gives you, the wearer, an opportunity to view your decisions from different perspectives. This way, you can examine the risks involved from their different unique perspectives and consider the possible outcomes individually.
3. The Mind Mapping Methodology
The mind mapping methodology offers a visual strategy that helps the decision-maker strategically organize various ideas and information to make better decisions.
Ultimately, this technique highlights a central topic, which branches out into other related topics that further elaborate on the main topic. Following a critical consideration of the total inputs, thereafter, a final decision is made.
The mind mapping methodology arrives at its final decision by evaluating the bigger picture.
In business generally, decision making shouldn’t be a task delved into too quickly. You must take the time, no matter how little, to ease your mind of any lingering challenges before proceeding. When your mind is clearer and focused, try to work on a more dynamic strategy; this will help you arrive at a more productive decision.
Strategy decisions are different from operational decisions, and should be treated differently using their respective techniques, else, the business suffers.
Contrary to the norm, gut decisions in business hardly ever yield the desired fruits in the long run. Instead, if entrepreneurs should implement the discipline they reserve, especially for strategic decisions, across all their business decisions (including operational ones), they would yield better rewards.
The most ethical business decisions can be achieved by following the below critical steps:
Ethical Decision-making Guides for Quality Decision-making in Business
4. Leverage Creativity to Expand Decision Alternatives
Try to come up with other alternatives different from the obvious. This step will force you to dig deeper while analyzing the situation from various angles. Step outside the box. Release yourself from your typical thinking patterns and try to visualize more innovative ways of thinking for problem-solving in your business.
5. Evaluate Your Options Through a Futuristic Lens
There are different challenges that affect different types of businesses, and each business decision has both an immediate as well as a future consequence. For example, decisions to re-invest profits in the future. When making business decisions, pay more relevance to the options that benefit future goals more than the ones that satisfy the present interest.
6. Leverage Previous Experiences to Evade Repeated Mistakes
It is okay to make mistakes in business (if you make them once); it means you are willing to take risks. However, if you continue to make the same mistake a second time consecutively, it means you did not learn anything. Acknowledge your previous wrong error, of course. But, it is always wise to learn from experience and the mistakes of other businesses.
7. Don’t Count on Pleasing Everyone with your Decisions
Trying to please everyone with your business decisions can cause you to lose track of your key values and calculated goals. It is okay to consider the suggestions of others. However, the final decision (after critically considering the opinions and ideas of others, concerning the issue at hand and expected goals), must be yours, even in the most pressing situations.
8. Critically Evaluate and Analyze the Quality of Information Gathered
Data are the basis of majority success-driven business decisions. Without relevant data, you’re flying blind. Gut decisions are usually born out of emotional data.
To get objective data to work with, you must look out for consistency, completeness, and timeliness (that synchronizes with the decision at hand).
Bear in mind that even if you make the best decisions based on bad (inaccurate) data, you will still yield bad results.
9. Build-up Open-end Questions to Stimulate Critical Thinking
Thinking and learning are synonymous with asking and answering questions, which are both prerequisites to making quality and well-grounded business decisions. Utilize iterative thinking to get to the root cause of the problem. Stimulate in-depth and creative thinking between your team members.
Leverage your critical thinking abilities and that of your team to arrive at the best business decisions for your company.
10. Do Not Allow Lack of Information to Delay your Reaching a Final Decision
In business, time is everything. A good decision reached too late is as good as a bad decision in itself. Do not allow the lack of all the information you are looking for, prevent you from arriving at a business decision on time. In critical conditions, work with what you have.
Most of the time, delaying can be a result of Analysis Paralysis. A typical example is in the case where you begin to overthink the decision you want to make. Typically, you are stuck between two or more choices. Usually, in scenarios like this, a final decision is never reached. Or, at best, it is made too slowly, and, or, too late.
When faced with business decisions, always identify your priority objective first. Leverage the roadmap it provides and arrive at your final decision. Meanwhile, timeliness must be your premium objective.
11. Allow Intuitions, Assumptions, and Personal Values to Play Their Role
Do not mute out the voice of your intuition and personal values in decision making, even though it’s business. Do not base your decisions on them, of course, but do not restrain/mute them either. They can come in very handy, especially when all the other facts are not adding up.
Your intuitions, assumptions, and personal values are valid in any of your business decisions. It is okay if any of them is proven otherwise, but don’t neglect them. Communicate them adequately to all relevant parties. This move will help to foster better support (if needed) and understanding.
Your team should have the correct and clear perception of every one of your decisions and actions moving forward; this will help to arrive at the overall business objective quicker.
12. Set Out Clear Back-up or Fallback Solutions
Contingency plans are the best fallback option, especially in cases where you lack all the needed decision information handy. Also, if there are factors that are beyond your control (such as jurisdictions, market trends, legislation, economic conditions, etc.), contingency is definitely your next best resort. In any case, you should never excuse contingency as a reason for not making proper analysis for better business decisions.
13. Communicate the Primary Solution to your Entire Team and Carefully Outline the Steps
In the end, no matter how perfect the business decision you arrive at is, a proper implementation plan will be the key to a viable outcome and its overall success. You must take the time to effectively communicate your decision’s implementation plan across to your team members.
Once a suitable business decision is reached, an implementation plan offers the roadmap to achieving it. The most successful entrepreneurs leverage a quality implementation plan.
More than merely having a fitting implementation plan, you must ensure that you interpret it clearly to the understanding of your entire team members. This way, everyone can have a clear picture of what needs to be done, who needs to do what, and how it needs to be done.
Finally, with everything in place, both you and your team can manage and dispense any needed action effectively and achieve the ultimate goal(s) of your business on time.
Business decisions are crucial for every successful business. The decision-making steps and each of the processes to arrive at them must be applied meticulously. Each step must be unique to the situation at hand so that it benefits both the business’s current state, the transitional stages between them, and its future state.
The ability of the decision-maker to graft a solution with a detailed implementation plan that covers the business’s needs across the three critical phases, defines a perfect business decision.
Be it an operational or strategic business decision, the constructive guides/principles expressly provided in this post will be instrumental for a more productive result-oriented decision-making. This guide will benefit the innovative entrepreneur immensely.
About the Author!
Gregory is passionate about researching new technologies in both mobile, web and WordPress. Also, he works on Best Writers Online the best writing services reviews. Gregory in love with stories and facts, so Gregory always tries to get the best of both worlds.