Decisions decisions decisions

Any business owner will know that running a business is essentially a process of making one decision after another. He or she who makes the right decisions wins – he or she who makes the wrong ones loses.

The problem is, most decisions are extremely close calls and, in the end, every one is a guess. That’s why we should be careful about over-confidence in any particular decision. Likewise, I would suggest there’s little point in beating yourself up if you make the wrong guess.

You can’t always make the right decision, but you can always make a good decision. That involves a process of triangulation between three things – rational analysis, intuition and experience. Using all three will help corroborate and substantiate a particular choice.

We usually recommend using a weighted decision matrix to unpack a complex decision. It triangulates well, even though it looks on first sight like a simple way of rationalising the options. The intuitive moment is when you look at what each option scores and notice how that makes you feel.

One final point relating to timing. Every decision has its day – for some, it’s definitely today. For others, it’s tomorrow. Up to the point of commitment, every extra piece of information is useful in forming a view. So, don’t become too fretful over an imminent choice you have to make if you don’t need to commit just yet. Use the time between now and then to open up your antennae and take in as much data about the issue as you can. Good luck!

About paulhopwood

Teaching, guiding and mentoring professional service firms and successful business owners, providing them with time to think. Love family, reading and walking. Brighton UK
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4 Responses to Decisions decisions decisions

  1. John Wade says:

    Great blog. Can it also be argued that a good decision is one which, if repeated, results in more good outcomes than had a different decision been made. A decision which results in a poor outcome may not have been a bad decision, if when repeated has an overall positive impact. For example, deciding on a particular business development strategy is the right one, and discovering that whilst eight ‘sales’ approaches fall on stony ground, two more than pay for the investment and provides the clients and revenues sought…

    The key may be, as you suggest, making the time to reflect, gather as much information as is needed to give an improved chance of the right overall decision – and then decide, when the time is right.

    Thanks, Paul – enjoyed this. Food for thought.

  2. Julie Burnett-Kirk says:

    This is a good starting point for thinking. I would have liked to see a link to the weighted matrix you spoke about. Especially important what you say about the timing of decisions. Sometimes it’s just as important to wait before acting on the decision.

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