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  • Strategies for More Successful Decision-Making

    07/21/17 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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    Gut feelings and hunches? Save them for choosing your next dessert.

    You’re a manager – which means that you need to apply disciplined, sound strategies to your decision-making practices.

    While it’s nearly impossible to distill complex decision-making processes into a few terse bullets, solid fundamentals are undeniably important. Here are four basic strategies you can use to make great decisions (large and small) and create great outcomes for your organization:

    Start with good information.

    You can’t be expected to make effective decisions without solid data. But all information is not created equally. Before you use data to inform a decision, consider:

    • The source of your data (is it reliable and objective?)
    • The quality of your data (is it relevant and projectable?)
    • The age of your data (what’s changed since it was collected?)

    Do your homework to collect high-quality data, and you’re much more likely to make high-quality decisions.

    Carve out “think time.”

    Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” He was onto something there. When you’re faced with an important decision, start by sharpening your mental axe. You’ll make decisions quickly, cleanly and with less effort.

    Struggle to find uninterrupted think time? Try these tactics:

    • Delegate more; do less. By freeing yourself from the details, you’ll get more time and space to look at the big picture and think more strategically. (Pro tip: contact Exact Staff for the staffing support you need).
    • Unplug. You know how; discipline yourself to do it.
    • Let things percolate. Don’t get frustrated if you aren’t suddenly struck with a revelation. Often, the best ideas arrive in pieces – a concept here, an insight there. Try a tool like Evernote to keep track of your thoughts, and then spend time connecting the dots.

    Systematically evaluate alternatives.

    To make a complex decision, ask a variety of questions to determine where you are now – and the best path for you to follow. Customize and expand upon questions like these to determine and evaluate options:

    • How are things functioning now? What’s the impact of doing nothing?
    • What caused the current situation?
    • Who must have a hand in making this decision? What are their perspectives, issues, pain points and motivations?
    • What are the limiting factors (e.g., time, money, technology, process bottlenecks, expertise)?
    • What’s limiting your ability to make a great decision (e.g., missing information, lack of perspective) and how can you overcome it?
    • What trends are likely to impact this decision?
    • Whom will this decision impact?
    • What’s at stake (i.e., what if you make the wrong decision)?
    • How can you mitigate risks in the decision-making process?
    • What are your viable options?
    • What will likely happen if you do “A,” “B” or “C”?
    • How will you define and measure the success of this decision?

    Don’t let fear or pressure paralyze you.

    The decisions you make impact employees, customers, stakeholders and sometimes even the world at large. And when the stakes are high, time is of the essence, and you have several equally good (or equally bad) options, making sound decisions becomes even more challenging.

    While there is no “magic formula” for making effective, high-stakes decisions, the four tips in this post, “Key Tips for Making High-Stakes Leadership Decisions,” will equip you to consistently make the smartest choices under pressure.

    Make a great decision right now: partner with Exact Staff.

    Whether you need to add great decision-makers to your core team, or simply want more time for critical thinking and decision-making, we’re here to help. And we’re just an email or phone call away.

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