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?