Dartmouth’s recommendation on the process of decision-making
Problem 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.
How to make sense out of the chaos of running your company
One of the challenges that I see with small business owners, especially very small organizations, is getting and keeping control of the business and everything that it takes to do so. As a business leader, activities tend to take on a mind of their own, pulling us in every direction at once, challenging both our tenacity and mental stability at every turn. It seems as though everything is precarious at best; one misstep could take us plunging over the cliff into the abyss!!
Looking at the different types of growth and how they impact the success of your company
My nine-year old son is very tall for his age. As a matter of fact, he is now taller than most of the kids in his elementary school, despite only being in third grade. When playing with their peers, people see him as a the leader, which is fine.
However, when playing with older children that would be his size, his lack of maturity is easily apparent, which, at times, has made him uncomfortable. Because of his size, people expect more of him, but he simply hasn’t developed mentally to match his size, yet.
Often when we talk about businesses and business growth, we look one dimensionally – how much revenue the company is bringing in and/or how many employees we have and/or how many locations we serve. However, like a child, business growth cannot be looked at simply in terms of sales; there are developmental components that have to be taken into consideration.
How to maximize the effectiveness of decisions in a minimal amount of time.
As 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?