Are you good at making decisions? Given how many we make throughout the day, I bet most of us believe that we are. But our process for those "important" decisions could likely be more efficient.
We often tackle big, important decisions by bringing together a group of people, exploring different approaches and outcomes, and debating their merits before actually moving forward with a plan of action. And that's not even taking into account second-guesses or backtracking that is common when making a business decision.
Don't get me wrong – discussing an issue and developing a response is not a bad way to approach decision-making. But a survey from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company revealed that almost half of C-suite executives believe more than half the time they spend making decisions is ineffective. In response, the company provided three strategies to help leaders make better decisions – and do it faster:
- Make decisions at the right level. It can be hard to delegate, but a president or CEO of a company can't make every decision – that is a huge misuse of time. Ensuring managers and employees are empowered to make decisions within their purview will result in a more efficient and effective process.
- Focus relentlessly on enterprise-level value. Each of our organizations has a vision and mission. What we do each day should tier up to that ultimate goal. As a result, we should consider how big of an impact a decision will have on our overall strategy and allocate resources accordingly.
- Get commitment from relevant stakeholders. This doesn't mean we should always engage in consensus decision making. Instead, it's more focused on putting the plan into action after a decision is made. I have a few tips to communicate change effectively here.
Decisions should be thoughtful, but time is often a luxury – especially in a crisis or fast-response situation. By having a clear process in place, involving the right people and driving change effectively, your decision-making skills could be what takes your company from good to great.
Follow me on Twitter (@BDanBerger).
B. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and has helped expand the association’s reputation into becoming a premier advocate for the credit union industry.