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Decisions, decisions...

Every decision you make, you make under time pressure and with incomplete information. Often you are balancing competing claims. No wonder failure to make timely decisions is one of the most common complaints staff make about their management.

And making the decision is sometimes just the beginning of a process of "selling" it to our own people – and then fighting the organisation's innate inertia, to make the changes actually happen, and stick.

People who can make good decisions in a timely way invariably see each decision in the context of broader goals and a strategy. Whether they have a business or strategic plan written down or not, they have a vision of what they want to achieve and decide issues according to impact on that target. So, no matter what the decision that is thrown at them, they think, How does this affect my goals?  Which decision maximises my goals? Those are decisions that can be quick, easy – and effective.

Of course, if you have more than one decision maker, those goals and strategies really do need to be documented, so they are consistently understood and committed to.

Sometimes good decision makers will defer making a decision, usually when there is insufficient information. They may say, This matter is not decision ready, and start gathering more information. They may say to people reporting to them, Bring me matter that is decision-ready, and you'll get what you want. But if they are presented with an ill-informed situation, they'll send it back.

Surprisingly often, needed solutions are known within organisations. They may not be fully known by any one person and they may not be known by the people who should action them, but the knowledge and concepts are there. Often this knowledge extends down the line, to people working on the floor.

Sometimes decisions require knowledge about customers or other stakeholders, and that knowledge should not be guessed at.

If you want to improver decision making by:

  • Agreeing and documenting a clear strategic vision and plan
  • Formalising a decision structure
  • Tapping into and gathering together the knowledge that already exists within your organisation
  • Finding out what your stakeholders really think

then give Glide a call. This is a core-skill area for us, that (with all modesty) we are really good at.