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Make More Profitable Decisions in Less Time

by | High Performance


I believe good business is just a series of good choices strategically and effectively implemented.

In this episode, I’ll show you how to help your executive team make better decisions faster.

If you’re frustrated because when someone comes to you with a recommendation it is half-baked, and the person with the idea has essentially “delegated up” the work to get better information so a solid decision can be made, you may be doing some backflips after the next few minutes—they will give you back a good chunk of your life.

Maybe your day gets chewed up by people who want to shoot the breeze on concepts, and you realize you just don’t have enough time for these “only mildly” productive interruptions. If so, you’re in for a treat, so stick tight—you may be able to go home at a decent hour.

And if your people are already extremely good at decisions and they bring you and your team a process that helps you make decisions quickly and effectively, you’ll love to hear how you can take it up another notch.

Every organization is facing these challenges to effective decisions in less time.

I’m now going to give you three steps that will help you get your team “owning” how they recommend and decide on key decisions better and faster.

Step 1: In contrast to the “death by meeting” approach where your team members bring things into the team as “concepts” and want to “chat” about them, make sure that each person writes up each presentation with all the salient facts.

Step 2: Be sure that critical thinking is demonstrated in those presentations. People often don’t explain the history, or the impact, or the things that will be disturbed by the decision. This causes all heck to break loose when the idea is implemented, leading to retraction of the idea. They need to be taught how to think through an issue, so they address it. I’ll never forget serving on a board where the writeup’s that came to be decided on often lacked the right supporting information, and how the board then stumbled around trying to decide by guessing because a decision was due. The retractions were embarrassing and extremely costly — a hard lesson.

Step 3: Once you have educated people on how to write these recommendations and how to take a decision cycle from weeks down to a few days, insist that you will not allow anything in front of the team that doesn’t follow that process. This will ensure that they don’t get sloppy and start the “death by meeting” cycle that is like a bug to a light bulb—it just keeps coming back unless you make sure it can’t. Each person must sign their recommendations and put their butt on the line for what they recommend instead of delegating up the decision with “I don’t know, what do you think we should do?”

Three steps. Stop the “let’s discuss ad nauseam” pattern, create a powerful template of what is expected in conceptual write-ups, and finally, don’t allow the sloppy patterns to sneak back in and waste your executives’ and board’s time.

By nailing the executive decision-making process, the percentage of optimal decisions goes up substantially. At the same time, you stomp out the pattern of spinning in circles while chewing up expensive executive time and diminishing the joy of being an executive.

Don’t go far. My next episode is a special gift of something I haven’t shared before that will really boost results quickly. See you then…

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