Constants in life include: death, taxes, and change.  Whether you are the CEO of a start-up, or a Fortune 500 company, there will be a continuous stream of changes in your business environment – requiring a solid framework for you and your employees to make sound business decisions.  The study of evolution where change is a constant, suggests in the business world, companies must “adapt or die”.

Every decision is different.  Some decisions are far more important than others.  Decisions can range from simple to complex.  How, when, and why decisions are made can have a profound and lasting impact on any company.  Making decisions for the wrong reasons can have dire consequences.  As a leader, understanding sound decision-making is a critical component for success.  Your role will include providing a justification and explanation of important key company level decisions which are made.  You must frame your remarks about decisions into the correct context to help employees understand, buy into, and in some cases implement them.

Keep in mind, in life, most of us make hundreds of decisions every day, including subconsciously and tacitly.  Not understanding, or even considering important questions, either by choice or from a lack of awareness, allows tacit “decisions” to be made.  These tacit decisions have potential to impact your bottom line.  Tacit decisions may also result in missteps and/or missed opportunities.

This article is focused primarily on the overriding approach to making business and leadership decisions, rather than a “How-To” discussion on making individual decisions.

Decision-making involves three main steps:

  • Identifying needed decisions.
  • Prioritizing decisions to be made.
  • Making decisions.

The identification and prioritization of decisions are discussed briefly in setting the stage to focus on outlining a framework for making crucial leadership decisions in a timely fashion.

Identifying Needed Decisions

As a leader, how do you identify decisions which need to be made?  You could:

  • Wait for someone to bring them to you.
  • Monitor your internal and external business environment parameters.
  • Be an observer of what is happening to other companies in your niche.
  • Chart projected milestones from your detailed business plan to develop a list of potential decisions which are going to be needed during the steps of your journey as a successful start-up.

What kinds of situations might require decisions?  For example, will you need decisions:

  • On which funding sources to seek during start-up?
  • On which positions to fill and when?
  • On what kinds of software to use?
  • On whether to lease your buildings or build them yourself to your specifications and requirements?
  • On purchasing of furniture, vehicles, or work station tablets?

There could be thousands of decisions per month which will need to be made.  Specifics related to your company will guide you in identifying many of them.

Always attempt to identify and make decisions to seize opportunities before they slip away.

Anticipating potential changes, when possible, will be helpful in identifying required decisions.  Embracing and accepting change as a constant may well assist you in identifying and making decisions which could allow you to take advantage of opportunities to grow and improve your competitive edge in the market.

As important, you must be vigilant in preventing tacit decisions which might have a negative impact on your company.  You must always keep track of your company business environment to be able to foresee, define, and identify needed decisions and act in a timely manner.  For example, if you have your attention fixed on capturing a competitive edge in your market but are not taking time to make decisions to meet OSHA requirements in your work place, this constitutes a “tacit” decision.  If there are no reportable accidents, maybe you can slip by.  However, if tables turn and someone is seriously hurt, said tacit decision may well be very costly on more than one level.

Read The Full Article:  Become A Leaders Club Member

Michael Roney has a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Montana and over thirty-three years of experience in a successful professional career. Nineteen of those years were spent in supervisory and managerial roles. He has been dedicated to studying the role of leadership and management in organizations for over 25 years, in relationship to how work is accomplished and how organizations adapt to change. The single greatest compliment he was given during his career was from an employee who stated he had a “Ph.D. in common sense”. He has worked since the fall of 2013, part-time, as a freelance business writer, providing services to clients from coast to coast. He has completed business related documents covering several areas including: safety management, human resources, driver’s education, agreements, contracts, product descriptions, insurance claim related documents, non-disclosure agreements, business plans, home and business security, resources management, non-profits, child protection, and education.