decision process

Learn When And Why You Need A Decision Making Process

Decision Making Process by Status Quo?

Decision Making Process by Status Quo?

Do you make decisions that you are “comfortable” with? Do you weigh those decision that are comfortable, to see how they compare with what is most important? While going with your intuition is fine when deciding what to eat for dinner, when it comes to complexity, a decision process that helps remove decision biases should be mandatory!

You see, when people make decisions, they often make them using the right half of the brain (such as using intuition), and use the left side of the brain to articulate the decision (such as logic). Doing this alone is likely fine for smaller, less complex decisions, but when you are deciding on something that contains multiple facets to consider (cost, personnel, location, timeliness, etc.), a decision making process will help remove some of the bias and result in greater decision success rates. Who doesn’t want solid success rates?

One of the biggest decision biases is that of the status quo – otherwise known as the “comfort zone syndrome”. This occurs when people prefer anything that perpetuates the existing state – status quo. Studies indicate that people often overvalue the status quo because stepping outside of one’s comfort zone is emotionally uncomfortable.

Why is moving from status quo so uncomfortable, you ask? Fantastic question! Moving away from the comfort zone into a more methodical, repeatable process increases ones’ responsibility and potentially opens them up for criticism if the decision doesn’t work out. Utilizing the “status quo” way alleviates much of the responsibilities and places them on a consensus “group” to hold the blame if things don’t go as desired. What many fail to realize, however, is that utilizing a process-based approach actually minimized risk because it considers key stakeholders as part of the process – or should, at least. When key stakeholders are brought in early-on into the decision-making process, they are more likely to approve of the outcome and to trust you and your organization more.

How has your business, or your organization decided upon the most complex decisions that have multiple factors to consider?

Learn Why You Need A Decision Making Process

Learn why you need to incorporate a decision making process into your organization

Learn why you need to incorporate a decision making process into your organization

A good swing of the bat takes no longer than a bad swing of the bat in baseball, right? One results in a home run, while the other results in a foul. In both instances, the bat was swung in the same amount of time – so why such different results? Perhaps a simple bat swing is more complex than we anticipated! Much like baseball, being effective – especially in the complex decision space, requires asking the right questions, assessing what happened that went right or wrong, and then learn new ways to approach the decision better in similar future situations.

In my 25+ years spent in the professional decision-making space of business (both public sector and private), I have found that significant amounts of time are wasted in meetings and discussions because people focus on the wrong things. They don’t ask the right questions, fail to adequately articulate what they actually want (or don’t really know what they want), they lack the right data, or worse – fail to properly analyze the data even if they do have it. The consequences, especially over time, tends to be a lot of backtracking, ambiguity, declined morale, and unnecessary chaos.

Why not, instead, utilize a bold decision making process that yields real results – and in a timely matter, so that those wasted meetings can be a thing of the past? A good decision making process, in the long run, will save an organization a significant amount of time by removing ambiguity. That alone will improve morale, and the resulting increase in successes will continue to improve morale. Why not focus on making the right decision the FIRST time? Don’t think you have the time? Think about how long it will take you – after you make that “quick” decision, to go back and redo it three, four or even five times while you try to get it right! Having a decision making process allows for assessment of what went right or wrong, immediately. The lack of a process negates that option, and often results in multiple attempts to achieve the same thing.

In my upcoming posts, I’ll dive a bit deeper on some decision-making options to help incorporate a process-based decision making capability in your organization. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what methods or decision making processes your organization currently uses to make complex decisions?

Learn The Executive Decision Making Process

Learn all about the Executive Decision Making Process

Learn The Executive Decision Making Process

Research indicates that prioritizing work efforts is the #1 investment challenge of both managers and executive decision makers. The need to “do more with less” makes choosing the right projects, at the right time, more important than ever. Today’s decision making processes within organizations are often:


  • Immature because they rely on the (simplistic but deadly) BOGSAT (Bunch Of Guys/Gals Sitting Around A Table… making ill-informed, non-transparent decisions)
  • Lacking a solid understanding of the costs, risks, and benefits of proposed projects
  • Inflicted with undetected individual and group bias, rather than having processes that recognize and counteract the bias
  • Full of unjustified project portfolios
  • Failing to incorporate the long-term value of knowledge acquisition
  • Measuring nothing, or the wrong things


Do any of these sounds familiar? I’m putting together a course on “The Executive Decision Making Process: that will walk you through some of the challenges, and ways to minimize them! Look for this online course coming in March 2015!


What are some of your biggest organizational decision-making challenges? Documenting decisions? Following up with them to ensure they were actually implemented?