What makes a good executive? If you measure it
on the basis of an organization’s performance, the ability to make the
right decisions would be on the top of the list. If you want to improve
the quality of your decision making, there are some traps you need to
avoid, traps that aren't that uncommon. Like:
Jumping into the issue. Like a swimmer prior
to diving into an unknown pool of water, you need to determine a little
about the situation before you dive in. When it comes to making good decisions,
that means taking a few minutes to consider the crux of the issue or,
more basic yet, how you think the decision should be made before you even
begin to gather information about it.
Being blind to the full situation. You can't
begin to make a good decision until you have a clear idea of your objectives.
Lacking control of a process or problem. Problems
arise if you allow yourself to be influenced by others' perspective of
the problem or look at the problem from only a single perspective.
Acting without information. Your gut may be
right, but you need to confirm your opinion with facts. Don't rely on
assumptions and opinion.
Taking shortcuts. Reliance on too readily available
information may offer no new viewpoints on a situation, leading to wrong
interpretation of the situation and subsequently a wrong decision being
Winging it. Creating a sound model by which
decisions will be made, and following that model each and every time for
certain key decisions, improves the quality of decisions made.
Relying on the group. Just because you have
assembled lots of talented people to engage in group decision-making doesn't
ensure that the best decision is made. As sponsor of a group formed to
address a problem, you need to oversee the quality of the process by which
the group works.
Fooling yourself about results. You decided
to test your decision via a pilot project. Do the results suggest you
have made the right decision, or are you protecting your ego rather than
admit you need to rethink your decision?
Failing to track results. Beyond the pilot test,
you need to be monitoring the results of your decision to ensure it was
the right one. Study of the results will also reveal lessons learned about
your business or decision-making approach.
Examining your decision-making process. If you
don't look at the means by which you handle decisions (the previous nine
obstacles), you won't know where you fall short as a decision maker.