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Before Making Decisions, Decide How to Decide

https://www.forbes.com/sites/benjaminkomlos/2019/12/09/before-making-decisions-decide-how-to-decide/

forbes.com

Before Making Decisions, Decide How to Decide

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Robert Frost

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both…I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost

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Deciding how to make good choices

Deciding how to make good choices

Leaders should choose a decision-making model before moving into problem-solving.

Good choices at defining moments on important matters make all the difference for people, organizations, and societies. Every time you are in front of a defining and complex problem, you have a pivotal choice to make in how to find solutions and execute decisions.

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Two decision-making models for tough challenges

  • The hub-and-spoke decision-making model. It's likely you don't have enough experience, brainpower, or time to succeed. The way forward is using a small group of elite talent, traditional experts, or a consulting team and having them set the course. This model uses interviews and read-outs to provide all the information and perspectives required to draw solutions. The process can take a long period of time.
  • Many-to-many decision-making model. You are engaging the talent in and around your organization. Whatever they are missing can readily be filled by external experts. The way to proceed is to ensure interactions between many specialized people in ways that combine their knowledge and talent to create unique recommendations. This model generates a high-volume of high-quality conversations. Speed to execution and change is the norm.

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Applying the Many-to-Many decision-making model

  • Frame the challenge or problem as a question. "What must we do now to become number one in commercial lending?"
  • Carefully consider all the people who can meaningfully answer the question and involve many who will need to execute them.
  • Don't tell people what to explore in answering the question. Let them decide what they need to discuss to arrive at solutions. Spend ten percent together in collectively setting the agenda.
  • Appoint a few people to each agenda item, and a few to coach them on doing better.
  • Conduct two or three rounds of meetings on each agenda item. Intentionally build on insights, ideas, and conclusions in follow-up meetings.

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