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Decision-Making today builds on research showing that decisions fail half of the time. In business, the top casualties of a poor decision-making process are reputation, long-term growth, employee morale, productivity, revenue and profitability. Our goal is to promote more effective, ethical decision making.

Traditional Decision-Making Method

slide1aThe traditional decision-making method in this world of increased information, technology, population, and communication is a serious and growing problem. The traditional method is not providing adequate results. Different proponents approach decision-making as a four-step to a seven-step process or more, and it is based on problem solving. Generally, the steps look something like the following:

  1. Define or clarify the problem. Somehow this whole process sounds negative to me. There is nothing positive about problems or estimating consequences. Flawed assumptions can derail the process and a misstep at this stage can lead to a bad decision or possible solution to the wrong problem.
  2. Stating a goal or objective. Sometimes this is presented as finding the causes of the problem. Other times it is presented as a premise, with information gathered to support the premise.
  3. Generate options or alternatives.
  4. Evaluate alternatives and tradeoffs. Evaluating tradeoffs is a trap that signifies settling for something less than the optimum.
  5. Estimate risk, by comparing predicted outcomes of each alternative with the objective. Attempts are usually made to recognize uncertainty as well. Estimating risk tolerance does not sound very positive either.
  6. Deciding on the alternative that best matches the objective. Given that we are always faced with imperfect knowledge and the risk of unintended consequences in any decision, choosing the best option seems like a pretty risky proposition.
  7. Implement the decision. This is the basic “how to make a decision” approach that we have used since Ben Franklin introduced the old “compare the pros and cons” approach a few hundred years ago.

Since data shows that “decisions fail half of the time,” it seems safe to say that this model is not adequate for making business decisions.

head-and-sholders  Robert Cannon

   With over 30 years of expertise in marketing, and leadership, Bob creates innovative systems, 
   products and services for small to mid-size manufacturers. Contact Bob today for more information 
   on the Cannon Advantage services and solutions.