How many decisions did you make in this way in the past week? Who in the world has time to? But, if we don’t how can we get out of a routine that may be unproductive?
We run into two main types of decisions that I believe we solve with two distinct solutions: Intuitive Solutions and Investigative Solutions
Intuitive Solutions: This is where experience counts, and a good memory, attention to detail and ability to pick up cues and logical patterns is important. These are problems, issues and situations where we really want to call on the experts in the business, the key employees who have been through it all, and the person who loves their job and knows all the ins and outs. These situations cause us to say, “We must have faced situations like this before, what have we done in the past?”
Those people who are valuable resources run through past situations in their heads, compare them to this present dilemma, choose the best course of action and share it with the team to implement. The decision is made quickly about how to proceed. If the proper people with experience are consulted, there is rarely an error in carrying out this decision.
Do you have these people in your organization? Those who have the experience to be a great resource and can be trusted without weighing all the alternatives in a lengthy process?
What do you do to develop more of this ability in your team? These people are developed when after decision is made, a problem is solved or a situation is handled, there is routinely a debrief, an autopsy if you will, to look at what happened, what was decided and the success or failure experienced. The lessons learned will enable those with the ability to learn the patterns that work. This ability must be practiced and consciously developed especially because you don’t want to wait years for someone to develop it, and often turnover rates are high enough that something takes a good employee away before they fully develop.
Investigative Solutions: This is where those decision-making steps above make sense. This decision steps into unfamiliar territory, requires the input of many experts, and is complicated to the point that past experience is helpful but must be pieced together in order to be most useful.
Do you have people who are good at this process in your organization? These need to be individuals who have the patience to work through the process, yet not someone who gets so bogged down in detail that it takes forever to come to a decision.
What do you do to develop more of this ability in your team? Even though you won’t need them to use this long process every day or even every week, the ability to move through the process is a mental exercise that can be applied to overall logical thought processing. So, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to spend some time next time you need an investigative solution to work through it as a team, and systematically map it out in order to help them to understand this process and make it second nature.
What occurs most often on your team? What “type” of decision makers are in your organization?