Making decisions for your business is as natural as breathing.
Most of the time, you don’t even think about it.
“Houston, we have a problem!”
Not taking the time to think through, and not employing a decision process in your decision-making, just might be the biggest threat there is to your business. More so than even your Competitors, Employees, Lack of Capital, Marketing, Sales, and the other “usual suspects”. Because decision-making is so ingrained in us, and we do it so often without thinking about it, it becomes the proverbial “800-lb Gorilla” in the room! Quit feeding the beast!
So how do you make better decisions for your business, and everyone that it touches? It’s a simple answer really…
INVEST THE TIME TO APPLY A DECISION METHODOLOGY TO EACH DECISION, BEFORE YOU MAKE IT.
Decisions, by nature, are tricky beasts that most times defy a logical process in making them. Why? Because our “Intuition” is usually the first method we habitually reach for. It’s fast, it’s easy, and best of all, we don’t have to think about it. What’s not to like? Plenty! Using your “Gut-Instinct” is another word for “Gambling”. When you use it, you are closer to “rolling the dice”, than you think! Is that really the way you want to run your business?
Statistics inform us that over 50% of business decisions fail outright or don’t meet expectations. That might even be a bit on the generous side! Even the best businesses make decisions that fail, so you’re not alone! Here are a few you may remember:
- Coca-Cola: New Coke
- AOL-Time Warner Merger – no explanation needed!
- IBM: licenses DOS to Microsoft), OS2 fails – Microsoft goes wild!
- Blockbuster: fails to buy Netflix for $50 Million – ends in bankruptcy!
- Western Union: turns down patent on the telephone from Alexander Graham Bell for $100,000 – sent a telegram lately?
- Excite: (the search engine – remember them?) turns down buying Google for $750,000!
- Mars Candy: M&Ms passes on the movie “E.T.” – Reese’s Pieces goes wild!
- News Corp: Buys MySpace for $580 million – sells it for $35 million! Facebook goes wild!
- NBC and CBS turn down Monday Night Football! – worst fumble ever!
- The list goes on and on…
The reasons that cause decisions to fail are many, too many to list here, but one thing is for sure – “Deciding in Haste & Repenting at Leisure” is one of the major ones. Not taking the time to properly research, review, seek outside advice, and discovering and eliminating biases, all contribute to decision failures.
The 7-Step Decision Methodology to the Rescue!
ANY decision process is better than NO decision process. Remember that, and think about it before you make your next business decision. Simply by applying a step-by-step methodology to a decision, you will greatly increase the odds of making a better decision. Why? It forces you to slow down, think, gather information, seek advice, identify biases, and reflect on what you discovered. Of course, there are times when you need to make a decision “right now“, but even then, just by reviewing your decision process before making your decision, you may think of factors that you hadn’t considered before, find holes in your logic, or discover information that may materially change the decision you were about to make.
Just as in life, there are seldom any “Silver Bullets” when it comes to making a great business decision. As a successful business person you already know that hard work and knowledge rule the day. It’s the same with decision-making, it takes time and effort to make profitable decisions, and especially, it takes a “process“.
While there are many “Decision Lists and Methods” to follow, hundreds of decision models, and no shortage of “experts” that espouse one theory over another, we submit that our “7-Step Decision Process“, shown above, is a good process to start with, and by applying it, you are bound to make better business decisions. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
In a future post, we’ll go in-depth on each of the 7 steps. Please subscribe to our blog to make sure you don’t miss it!