When it comes to brainstorming and divergent thinking time, we’re big on pushing for the impossible. During convergent thinking phases when the focus is prioritization and decision making, the focus shifts to narrowing choices, quick decisions, and determining the action steps for implementation.
Quick decisions have been on my mind lately. I tend to take time making a decision, but as you carry out more roles in an organization, the luxury of adequate time every time you’re making a decision just isn’t practical. As we’re growing and expanding The Brainzooming Group, I’m trying to be more disciplined about staying out of certain decisions and turning others into quick decisions.
Seven Situations Begging for Quick Decisions
Thinking back to client situations over the past few years, here are seven types of decision making situations across three different categories where too much time often gets spent debating and considering actions.
1. Non-strategic issues – We talk about strategic issues as those that “matter” for an organization. If a decision making outcome won’t matter that much, don’t spend that much time on it.
2. Changes to processes customers won’t experience – For as much as we talk about the need for strategic change, invest more time deciding about changes customers will notice than background processes they won’t ever experience.
3. There’s a track record from previous decision making – Especially in big corporations with lots of administrative functions, it’s possible for employees to spend way too much time on decision making about simple issues primarily important to them. If your organization has a solid history or guidelines to shape decision making, use them and invest your efforts on newer, more speculative decisions.
There Are Multiple Options that Could Suffice
4. You can recover from making a decision that’s off the mark – If your environment is one where it’s relatively easy to try things, learn, and adapt, you’re in a lot better situation to make a quick decision and launch into implementation.
5. You’re making a decision from among multiple choices customers will accept – Don’t waste too much time debating changes to product or service features low on the list of things customers care about or notice. Invest the time saved into stronger implementation.
Limited Resource Are Available
6. You’ll spend more on making a decision than the decision costs – In a meeting-happy organizational culture, you can wind up with multiple meetings to consider and debate even small questions. If you’re spending $5,000 in employee time (yes in a staff role, you still have an hourly rate) to make a $1,000 decision, STOP!
7. You’re trying to decide about things you’ll never be able to do – We definitely encourage thinking big and considering possibilities well beyond today. But when it gets down to prioritization and decision making time, it’s time to decide on things you will be able to implement and not just be able dream about for an extended period.
What would you decide to add or subtract from this list of quick decisions?
How do you handle quick decisions? Are there other decision making situations where you aggressively push for quick decisions? – Mike Brown
The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.