Leaders have always needed exceptional decision-making skills. Decision-making in business is the process of using sound judgment to maximize the positive results and minimize the negative results for the organization. We rely on leaders to solve problems and make operational decisions that allow the company to remain competitive. The business landscape is changing, and leaders need to be able to anticipate future needs and make strategic decisions for the organization to be successful in the long term.
Becoming a Skillful Decision-Maker
Making decisions about the day-to-day operations is important, but leaders will also need to be able to make strategic decisions on behalf of the business to excel in the future. To remain competitive in an ever-changing global marketplace, leaders must be able to discover totally new solutions to business challenges. This means being innovative, experimenting, taking smart risks, and discovering new ways to contribute to the business and its long-term strategy. When skillful decision-makers work together, the entire organization benefits from their collaboration and the innovation that follows.
The future is full of opportunities for leaders with sound judgment, business acumen, and strategic decision-making skills. However, each day comes with a flurry of activities, tasks, and problems to be solved. It can be difficult to keep your head above water, not to mention carving out time to make important, quality decisions about strategic business issues.
CMOE works with leaders every day to help them enhance their ability to make strategic decisions. This means building leadership teams that can keep an open mind, thoroughly assess the situation, analyze the options, evaluate resources, communicate effectively, ask for help when needed, and make timely decisions.
By using a decision-making framework, leaders can make quality decisions despite time constraints, limited information, and increasingly complex issues. CMOE’s framework allows leaders to define the decision that needs to be made, think through their options clearly, and make sound choices.
To begin, we coach leaders to create a brief statement that clearly explains the decision that needs to be made and the results they want to achieve. The statement should be succinct and precise; it should also indicate the purpose of the decision or what will be achieved if they are successful.
Once the problem has been clearly defined, the leader can formulate the “decision criteria.” These are the factors that will guide the evaluation and analysis of each option.
Then, the leader can gather data and generate alternatives. In this context, “alternatives” are the creative options that have the potential to solve the problem. This step in the process requires leaders to compare and evaluate the alternatives against the criteria they’ve established. Evaluation skills allow leaders to pinpoint the viability of each of the options they’ve identified.
Finally, they must be able to consider all of the options they’ve evaluated, make the best choice available, and act on it. This requires common sense and the ability to think strategically. Leaders must be willing to consider the long-term consequences, take responsibility, and stand behind the decisions they make.
To learn more about CMOE’s decision-making framework and applied strategic-thinking programs, contact us today.