The decisions we make, don’t make, are slow to make or make without due consideration have a huge impact on organisational success. Whether intended or not, our decision-making processes can affect product quality, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, cash flow and reputation. Many leaders are bogged down in decision-making and their organisations and personal wellbeing suffer as a result.
There is a way out. The first step is to delegate as many of the decisions you make as possible to team members. These are decisions that won’t have a significant impact on the organisation as a whole and/or can be changed easily. If they involve finances, limits can be set to manage risk. Provided mistakes are treated as learning opportunities, delegating decisions is great way to upskill staff and build their sense of ownership over the organisation’s results.
By removing the clutter of the smaller decisions, the leader creates the physical and mental space needed to make the important decisions. Each person will use a mix of analysis, consultation, judgement and instinct in their decision making. They will consider the impact on and availability of resources, and will weigh options against long-term objectives.
The decision-making process is not complete once the decision has been made. Decision-making skills are honed when the intended and unintended consequences of decisions are evaluated. Consider what influenced the decision and what, in hindsight, should have influenced the decision. By building these learnings into your processes when making future decisions your organisation will reap the benefits.
This article was first published in the Mercury Bay Informer of 31 October 2018. See www.theinformer.co.nz