Sitting in my fourth meeting in a six-month period with a leadership group that I had been contracted to assist and evaluate, I began to look around the room for Bill Murray, the actor. I was looking for him because I knew I had to be in his movie, Groundhog Day. Every meeting I had attended was pretty much the same. Lots of discussion on the same topic. Some good, some chasing rabbits, but no decisions were being made.
While I am certain this leadership team thought they were leading their organization, in essence, they had all abandoned the bridge and gathered regularly in the galley to discuss the needs of the organization. Who’s steering the ship?
I have seen this phenomenon in churches, and organizations both religious and corporate. On the DISC scale, it will drive people with a D or C personality insane. I know, I am a C. There are people in the room who want and need a decision to be made. The organization needs decisions to be made; decisions to move the organization forward.
Steps to Quality Decision Making
There are steps that can be implemented to move any organization or individual forward. The following is a five-step process that you can implement in your personal life and in your team or organization that will guide you in making good, solid, quality decisions in forward-moving progress.
First, identify the issue to be addressed. Remember there are no problems, only opportunities. Seeing the issue as an avenue to greater opportunity will help you focus on the positive opportunity that lies ahead.
- Gather the pertinent information. You need the information that will assist you in making the decision with the greatest potential of forward movement with the least amount of repercussions.
- Identify all options that will lead to the highest impact with the least amount of negative implications.
- Ask the following three questions of your greatest potential decision options. (top 1-3 options)
- If we make this decision what is the absolute best that can happen?
- If we make this decision what is the absolute worst that can happen? (to the organization)
- Are we willing and able to live with the answer to “b”? Scratch out all options that you cannot answer yes to.
- Make your decision, take action, and move forward. Looking back, second-guessing will only cause your organization to falter and languish in its efforts to succeed.
I’ve not known an organization yet that can say they have perfected the decision-making process. However, using a formula like the one above can propel your decision making process into quantifiable action and effectiveness in the overall organization. Some have made extraordinary strides in their decision making process.
What is your first step in improving your decision making process? Don’t put it off. Make a decision to begin today.