We make many decisions every day – all of us. Many are mundane and there is no significant consequence to it. For instance it is very unlikely that the decision on your favourite breakfast cereals is going to change anything else in your day, neither your week, month, year nor your whole life. It matters only to you and only in that moment.
However we also have to make strategic decisions in our private and professional life that make a difference to the future.
“Will I request a loan to buy a house?”
“Is this technology sustainable?”
“Is my business model scalable?”
“Will I accept the risk for that new project at work?”
“Should I hire this person?”
All these are strategic decisions you might have to decide on sooner or later and you better want to make sure you take the right decision. In order to improve your personal decision taking on such and any other important decisions, I have lined up my personal favorite 3 practices to consider when doing strategic decision taking in this article.
1 – No Decisions in Discussion or Meetings
Often we are pushed to take a decision while still being in conversation and still collecting data on the options at hand. You should not give in to that group dynamics and take the process of taking a decision with you. Lock yourself away and focus on options and possible outcomes. Consider the input and data provided to the matter but don’t let others interfere with your decision taking process.
2 – Only 3 Strategic Decisions per Day
The human brain is a muscle to train and the ability to facilitate intellectual activities varies from person to person and that is all good and normal. No matter how well you complete those brain tasks and thinking, don’t be fooled. Your brain cannot complete a large series of strategic decision taking, no matter how healthy you eat or how much books you read. I recommend everybody to keep their strategic decision taking at 3 decisions per day or below. Now this number might vary a bit but it has proven to be a good rule of thumb. If you ignore this and take decisions like on the assembly line – brace for some negative outcome.
3 – Data-Driven Decision Making
Also known as data-informed decision making (DIDM) this model is often forgotten but for every major decision this is a mandatory exercise and something you should practice. It’s also not only relevant because Big Data is trending right now – you don’t need a data warehouse and business intelligence dashboard that makes the decision for you (even though it’s a nice aid). You can do this yourself. Just make sure you investigate on gathered data and evaluate the information on your case. Of course you can use your knowledge and experiences as a baseline but do not get carried away and start to make strategic decisions based on instinct or “a gut feeling”.
“The decisions you make produce the life you lead.”
I hope these 3 little pointers will help you with your future decision taking and end up on your checklist for things to consider before you put your signature on the dotted line.
Which is your favourite out of these 3? Or do you have your own special way of dealing with decisions that you would like to share? We would love to hear your feedback and insight on this subject below in the comment section. Thanks for reading!