Make The Decision: Clarity, Consensus and ConfidenceJul 5, 2023
Businesses that cannot make timely and decisive decisions are doomed to fail. According to Robert Kiyosaki, author of the best-selling book Rich Dad Poor Dad, “The number one reason people don’t get what they want is that they don’t know what they want.” This statement perfectly encapsulates the need to have clarity when making decisions. If you don’t know what you want, you won’t be able to make the best decision.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the tools necessary to make informed decisions with clarity, consensus, and confidence. Clarity is essential for understanding the problem at hand. Consensus is necessary to seek out counsel from experts and peers. Confidence is paramount in making the ultimate decision.
Clarity: Identifying & Understanding the Problem
The first step in making an effective decision is identifying and understanding the problem. This involves identifying if a decision actually needs to be made. If yes, what outcome is necessary? And what are the potential consequences of your choices? It might sound confusing, but many business leaders are focusing on the wrong things, and so they’re making decisions on the wrong things. Sometimes, this is to avoid making harder decisions about the right things. To make a well-informed decision, it is essential to consider all the options and their potential impacts.
So…how do you know when a decision needs to be made and that you’re not wasting time on the inconsequential? Peter Drucker, sometimes called the father of modern management, said that effective executives don’t make many decisions. They make few decisions on the highest level of importance. The rest are details. As ever, identifying when a decision is necessary hinges on its potential impact on your business goals and objectives. You’ll be more effective if you’re focusing on decisions that drive progress toward these goals or that will have a measurable impact on these critical factors. If a decision doesn’t have a meaningful influence on your key objectives, it’s probably not worth your focus. Also, consider the implications of inaction – if avoiding a decision leads to potential risks or missed opportunities, it’s a strong indicator that the decision needs to be made. By continually aligning decisions with business goals and potential risks, you can be sure you’re focusing on issues that truly matter to your organization’s success.
Once the problem is identified, it is vital to prioritize decisions. Prioritizing achieves:
- Enhanced Focus: Prioritizing decisions helps leaders concentrate on what matters most, leading to more impactful and efficient outcomes rather than getting bogged down by trivial matters.
- Optimized Resource Allocation: By understanding what decisions are most important, leaders can better distribute resources – time, manpower, and finances – enhancing overall productivity and effectiveness.
- Risk Management: Prioritizing decisions aids in identifying high-risk areas first, allowing leaders to develop mitigation strategies early on and reduce the potential negative impact on the business.
Peter Drucker, sometimes called the father of modern management, said that effective executives don’t make many decisions. They make few decisions on the highest level of importance. The rest are details.
Consensus: Seeking Out Counsel
The second step in the decision-making process is to seek out counsel. This can be done in various ways, such as seeking out the advice of experts, your executive team or board, consulting with peers or researching data and statistics.
Exploring alternatives to the narrative or status quo is another reason why diversity of minds and ideas is important to decision-making. Here again, delegation comes to the forefront. Ask yourself: who should be involved in helping to make decisions? Why? And continue to ask, what is my role in this process?
Confidence: Making The Decision
The third step in the decision-making process is to make the decision. Sounds a little strange, we know. But how many exploratory committees, teams within teams and ideation meetings are necessary? Sometimes the activities around decision-making can make us feel like we’re doing something. Yet, the decision remains unmade.
Indeed, while understanding resources and maximizing opportunities is a critical aspect of the decision-making process, the most crucial step is to take action confidently. This doesn’t mean impulsiveness but is simply the result of your previous understanding, collaboration, and analysis. Once you’ve done your due diligence, moving forward decisively is essential. The reality is, there will always be uncertainties and no decision will be perfect in retrospect. However, the ability to gather information, analyze it, make a decision, and then adjust as needed is a sign of strong leadership. This capacity drives business outcomes and builds trust within the team, as it demonstrates a commitment to action and progress. So once you’ve done the legwork, trust your judgment and take the leap – it’s through making decisions that we propel our businesses forward.
Making decisions can be tricky – and there can be difficult decisions we sometimes wish we didn’t have to make. A systematized approach for clarity, consensus, and confidence can be powerful and valuable when making decisions. Clarity is essential for understanding the problem. Consensus is necessary to seek out counsel from experts and peers. Confidence is paramount in making the ultimate decision.
The systematic approach is not about avoiding difficult decisions or guaranteeing flawless outcomes but about navigating decisions more effectively. This method fosters decisive action, transforms challenges into growth opportunities, and keeps your business moving forward. The art of decision-making is an ongoing process of learning and adapting, where each decision made, based on available information, contributes to future decision-making prowess. Embrace this process as a growth journey for you and your business.