Some thoughts on decision making.
Our decision-making process is always more important than just making a decision. A well informed and transparent decision has a higher chance of successful implementation than a lucky guess.
There is an ancient Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times”. This moment qualifies. Decision making becomes more critical as the implications for each decision become more complex to judge. But I think several principles help us make better decisions.
- When making a decision, keep asking yourself or your team “So what?” And keep asking it until you have identified all of the implications.
- When presented with the “facts” in any decision-making process, ask “How do you know that.” Try to understand the political, cultural and social elements of the presentation of the “facts”.
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts. Abraham Lincoln
- Having make a decision — read it out loud to yourself and those around you. And ask “So what?”.
- Having made a decision, make sure it’s understood by those that have to act on it. Simple open questions like: “Do you understand what you have to do”. “What physical and intellectual resources do you need to carry out this decision”. “What might stop you complying with this decision?”
Finally, stay close to your decisions, don’t, like the sign warns cling to your decisions out of ego, face, politics, perceived superiority or plain stupidity. Don’t confuse wrong decisions with poor decision-making. Wrong decisions for all the right reasons will happen. Poor decision-making is the failure to follow a process. There is a vaccine that hunts down poor decision-makers, it’s called time.