Has your organization defined a “decision-making process” and, if so, is it widely and regularly put to good use?
Consider that making decisions could very well be our most important responsibility as leaders and managers — and also the riskiest. Yet the decision-making process is rarely studied and improved.
In fact, we’ve found that decision-making is viewed as more of a craft than a process, dependent entirely on the skill of the craftsman which varies greatly from person to person.
In a Harvard Business Review article, A Checklist for Making Faster, Better Decisions, author Eric Larson shared a study of 500 managers and executives which concluded that “only 2% regularly apply best practices when making decisions, and few companies have systems in place to measure and improve decision making over time.”
Similarly, data-driven decision making has been advocated for decades, yet this approach has not lived up to expectations. For example, behavioral economists report that “data driven” decisions increase confidence in the decision far more than quality of the decision.
Dan and Chip Heath, in their book Decisive, point out that “Our normal habit in life is to develop a quick belief about a situation and then seek out information that bolsters our belief.” AKA, confirmation bias!
However, decision making processes can be standardized and improved upon to consistently yield better decisions, and this will be the subject of our next post.