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Teresa May General ElectionSo, on June 8th the UK goes to the polls. The calling of the election has garnered extreme reaction, being hailed as either the biggest piece of political cynicism in modern times or a bold and decisive decision!

Whatever your political persuasion, one of the hallmarks of a great leader (business or otherwise) is the ability to make informed & effective decisions.

Too many businesses have lost opportunities, staff, customers and ultimately competitive advantage because they either made the wrong decision at the wrong time, the right decision at the wrong time or not made a decision at all.

We can all identify a few key decisions that have completely changed our lives – for better or worse.  We ‘intellectually’ know the importance of decision making, and of making BOLD decisions if we’re committed to creating the outstanding products and service that will create clear blue water between ourselves and our competitors, and a highly profitable business that’s a great place to work.

So… ask yourself this question:  How do we make the key decisions in our business?

If we acknowledge the criticality of decision making, do we use a proven best practice methods to ensuring our decisions are both bold AND sound?

part of our role as business leaders is to CONSTANTLY keep up to date with the kind of information that gives us the ability to move quickly and appropriately

So how are you making your key decisions?  Through … intuition? Data analysis? Individually or collaboratively?  Emotionally? The latest thing you read? Internally or with external input?

Firstly it’s better to make a decision that none at all! Even if that decision is do nothing, e.g. “We will not expand our business during 2017”.  Former President of Ford Motor Company, Lee Lacocca, said:

“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there.

If we screw it up – start over. Try something else.  If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”

If you want to improve the success rate of your decisions, here are a few hints & tips, from your Trusted Business Advisors at Aspirin Business.

Information

You need to take time to gather FACTS to inform your decision – FACTS not just opinions. Even if you need to make the decision quickly, don’t sacrifice the strong foundation of the facts for time pressures. One challenge – part of our role as business leaders is to CONSTANTLY keep up to date with the kind of information that gives us the ability to move quickly and appropriately. If we don’t, then we run the risk of increasing the pressure on our critical thinking.

too many leaders make the wrong decision at the wrong time, the right decision at the wrong time or don’t make a decision at all

However, the opposite problem also occurs in that if we have so much information it is impossible to see ‘the wood for the trees’. This situation is called ‘analysis paralysis’ and can be a refuge for us in that we don’t have to make a decision because ‘we need more information’ but is also used as a tactic to delay decision-making in the company by others who want to delay change.

It’s vital to get the right facts AND the right amount of facts, then DECIDE!

People

Involving the right people is vital, but decisions by committee can be difficult and slow. Whilst it’s important to know what these views are, and why and how they are important, ultimately you will, as the leader of that business, have to take responsibility for the decision.

Garner views, take advantage of the experience of your team, talk to trusted experts outside your sphere of experience, and then MAKE YOUR DECISION.

Emotions

Often, even with the best intentions, our team can be very attached to the status quo – or a preferred decision. Anticipating our team’s reaction is vital so that we can work together to gain the benefits of the decision, rather than fighting to implement our decision effectively.  If you’re already using Motivational Maps, you’ll be at a significant advantage in managing this change successfully.

Sometimes it feels impossible to make a decision because we’re not sufficiently invested either way – put simply ‘we can’t decide’.  This is where having a fact-based structured decision-making process, such as Cartesian Co-ordinates, works by itemising the pros and cons of particular decisions.

 

 

A bold decision is not an easy decision – and there will be consequences.   As a leader, making bold and sound decisions is one of the most important roles of a business leader.  Indecision is not an option because, as we say here at Aspirin Business “If you don’t choose, you’ve actually made a choice not to act!” – and that too has consequences.

Stop & Think!  What questions are either at the forefront of your mind and occupying your thoughts or at the back of your mind but with that nagging voice that won’t be silent?

If you want to talk to us in confidence about a bold decision you’re considering that could create that clear blue water you need to get ahead, then get in touch.  We have the tools & the experience, as both business leaders and Trusted Business Advisors, to help!

Call Paul on 07818 566 935

Call Sue on 07838 039 651