There’s little doubt that decisiveness will make your life easier as a manager but how do you ensure you make decisions effectively about planning, organising, leading and controlling? Good decision making lies at the heart of making your life easier as a manager. All to often we see either the failure to make decisions or an overly aggressive approach lead to ongoing problems in organisations – problems that just never seem to get resolved.
Peter Drucker suggested seven steps to good decision making:
- Determine if a decision is necessary.
- Classify the problem.
- Define the problem.
- Decide on what is right.
- Get others to buy the decision.
- Build action into the decision.
- Test the decision against actual results.
Doing nothing is always a viable option especially if the consequences of your decision making are only likely to make a bad situation worse. I’m not arguing for laziness or complacency just level-headed thinking about likely consequences. Getting a clear perspective of the fundamental problem or opportunity is central to getting a good focus. Knowing what can be compromised in advance of discussions and negotiations with others helps you to understand your options. Without the buy-in of others your decisions will be vacuous. Decision making needs to lead to action on either your part or that of others. Failure to monitor results leads to delusional thinking like the business that wanted more business in one sector but spent its marketing budget in another!
How can you make effective decision making lead to an easier life as a manager? Perhaps review some recent big decisions you have had to make and see if they meet Drucker’s criteria above. Are you putting off making some key decisions? Are you really monitoring the results of decisions you have made? Is your work life driving you or are you driving a coherent agenda based on good choices and effective planning and strategy. What are the hardest decisions for you to make? What do you think would improve your decision making?
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