"Research shows that enterprises fail [because] they neglect the most powerful drivers of effectiveness -- decision rights and information flow." Neilson, Martin, and Powers. Harvard Business Review
Decision Making is a Primary Skill for Leaders
Decision making seems to make all the difference in business. I have come to this conclusion after observing lots of really bright people in my programs and seminars have wildly different results. They get different results even when presented with much the same set of parameters and opportunities.
The difference seems to be decision making.
For example, in a simulation, many participants ask with a twinkle in their eye, "What do you have to do to win this thing?"
I always give a straightforward answer, "Work well as a team and make great decisions."
They usually find this answer unsatisfactory. Yet, that is indeed what seems to make all the difference. I believe they are assuming that there is a set of 'right' answers for the simulation and that if they had them, they'd win.
Simulations, like life, are more complex than that.
In our newest learning program, Decision Mojo from Ten Thousand Feet, LLC., participants learn some essential lessons about what makes for effective decision making. A number of big and small lessons occur to our participants. Sometimes, they learn what they assumed about decision making has been incorrect. A face palm moment, if you will.
Here are three reminders for leaders of all types to keep in mind. These reminders will help you make better decisions:
In an HBR Classic from 2008, The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution, Nielson and the other authors suggest that success and change are about "Decision Rights" and "Information Flow." I couldn't agree more.
So, it's not just that we have a great strategy, communicate a clear organizational chart, hire the best people and launch innovative products. It's about decision making and our decision processes. Nobody has all the answers, but these few principles can help you tremendously.
Apply them and you'll win this thing.
"The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the unanimous views of all parts of my mind."
- Malcolm McMahon
Dan Topf, CPT is Sr. Vice President at MDI, Inc.
Business Learning by Dan: Primers for Trainers
PDF versions of short articles on how to integrate business acumen into all training and development:
The Income Statement
Price and Volume
The Circulation of Capital
The Cost of Capital
Financial Services -- Life Insurance/Annuities