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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.

Decisions Fail Half of the Time

Why Decisions FailDecisions fail half of the time is the key finding of Paul C. Nutt’s twenty years of study about how decisions are made. The finding is outlined in his book, “Why Decisions Fail.”

In twelve chapters Paul outlines blunders and traps that cause decisions to fail half of the time. Some of the blunders include:

 “Nearly everyone knows that participation prompts acceptance, but participation is rarely used.”

     “Decision makers often jump on the first idea that comes along and then spend years trying to make it work.”

     “Decision makers spend vast sums to uncover the cost of an idea, but little on anything else. Little time or money is spent to investigate claims, set objectives, search for ideas, measure benefits and risk, or manage social and political forces that can derail a decision.”

Some of the traps include:

“Using an edict to implement is high risk and prone to failure. When using an edict, the best one can hope for is indifference – people do not care enough to resist you.”

    “The first seemingly workable idea that was discovered got adopted. Having an answer eliminates ambiguity about what to do but stops other from looking for ideas that could be better.”

In the appendix, Paul writes, “The best practices offered here have a flow to them that can be related to the appreciative inquiry stages of discovery, dreaming, design and destiny (Copperrider and Srivastva, 1987).”

He concludes with these Summative Lessons:

  1. “Personally manage your decision-making efforts. The prospects of success improve when you take charge.
  2. “Make ethics an ongoing consideration.”
  3. “Uncover the arena of action.”
  4. “Deal with barriers to action.”
  5. “Establish your direction with an objective.”
  6. “Stress political and logical rationality.”
  7. “Personally manage your decision-making efforts. The prospects of success improve when you take charge.
  8. “Insist on learning.”

Are you satisfied making business decisions that fail half of the time?  If not, learn more about why decisions fail half of the time, read   Why Decisions Fail.

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.