decision making tools

Complex Decision-Making Model | Extraordinary Business

Dartmouth’s recommendation on the process of decision-making

business man hand pointing at solution solving problem diagramProblem solving is something that everyone has to do. Sometimes decisions are so simple that you don’t give much thought to it. At other times, decision-making can be very complex with a large number of possible outcomes. When business leaders face complex problems in their organizations, the outcome of their decisions can have ripple effects throughout the organization.

So the question deserves to be asked: how are these problems addressed.

Going with the first thing that pops into your head isn’t always going to be the best answer, nor the most complete answer. Sometimes, we decide to “jump off the bridge and build a parachute on the way down.”  However, it isn’t until after we have jumped off the bridge that we realize that we should have jumped a bit more to the left or to the right, then struggle, sometimes in vain, to attempt to compensate. Other times, perhaps, it is simply the wrong bridge. Or perhaps someone had already built an elevator.

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Complex Decision-Making Model | Extraordinary Business

Dartmouth’s recommendation on the process of decision-making

business man hand pointing at solution solving problem diagramProblem solving is something that everyone has to do. Sometimes decisions are so simple that you don’t give much thought to it. At other times, decision-making can be very complex with a large number of possible outcomes. When business leaders face complex problems in their organizations, the outcome of their decisions can have ripple effects throughout the organization.
So the question deserves to be asked: how are these problems addressed.
Going with the first thing that pops into your head isn’t always going to be the best answer, nor the most complete answer. Sometimes, we decide to “jump off the bridge and build a parachute on the way down.”  However, it isn’t until after we have jumped off the bridge that we realize that we should have jumped a bit more to the left or to the right, then struggle, sometimes in vain, to attempt to compensate. Other times, perhaps, it is simply the wrong bridge. Or perhaps someone had already built an elevator.
 [···]

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9 Things Leaders Need to Know for Effective Decision-Making | Extraordinary Business

How to maximize the effectiveness of decisions in a minimal amount of time.

Decision, decisionsAs business leaders, we are required to make decisions all day, every day. For smaller companies, that may look like ongoing idea generation and decision-making might focus on whether or not to execute and how to do it. In a larger business, attention might be focused on customers, employees, vendors and other stakeholders that require information from you and your team.

In either space, decisions are made in three ways: the wild guess, the informed guess and information-based factual answers. Unfortunately, the last is often the most difficult to come by. When doing a product launch, you cannot tell how well the product will be received. When you are doing sales projections, again, these are based on guesses – ideally, informed guesses.

So why is this important?

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9 Things Leaders Need to Know for Effective Decision-Making | Extraordinary Business

How to maximize the effectiveness of decisions in a minimal amount of time.

Decision, decisionsAs business leaders, we are required to make decisions all day, every day. For smaller companies, that may look like ongoing idea generation and decision-making might focus on whether or not to execute and how to do it. In a larger business, attention might be focused on customers, employees, vendors and other stakeholders that require information from you and your team.

In either space, decisions are made in three ways: the wild guess, the informed guess and information-based factual answers. Unfortunately, the last is often the most difficult to come by. When doing a product launch, you cannot tell how well the product will be received. When you are doing sales projections, again, these are based on guesses – ideally, informed guesses.

So why is this important?

 [···]

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Looking Back to Move Forward

“To see how well you are doing, you’ve got to know where you’ve been,”  should be plastered everywhere we go.

One of my mentors once told me that he spends his one hour drive home reflecting on the day, how it went, what went well and what he would do differently.  He told me that he’s done it for the past forty years, and found it to be a very effective way to learn from mistakes and identify new opportunities.  When I look back at that, I recall how productive and how focused he was, and how many different problems he was able to overcome.

As a business leader, you might recognize that much of your day is based on making certain decisions for your business.  As we know, one of the most important tools to have in order to make a good decision is good information.  Creating a journal of some sort to help you track past successes and failures, and the reasons they were successful or failures could be one of the most important decision-making tools you possess.image

I use Brain (www.thebrain.com) to create and flesh out ideas, both personally and professionally.   It is a great brainstorming program that allows you to focus your energies more on the idea creation and how ideas fit together.  There are several levels of the program – the free personal version, the core version and the professional version.  My preference is for the professional version, since it integrates with MS Outlook for calendaring, and allows for icons and unlimited attachments to ideas, so website ideas can easily be incorporated.image

Another tool that is more suited to traditional journaling is Microsoft OneNote.  It’s a great software for organizing thoughts and ideas.  It, too, allows you to create an unlimited number of topics which you can categorize and tag however you need to for your business.

Of course, there are a number of other options out there.  The most important thing to do is to use it in a way that makes sense for you and for your business.  If doing it once a day doesn’t work for you, do it once a week.  Schedule it.  While you might think that you don’t have time for it, consider the amount of time you will save avoiding duplication of errors, or not taking advantage of great things that have worked in the past and the efficiency with which you can move forward.

Look back and move forward.  Be extraordinary.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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