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Decision Making: 10 Great Situation Analysis Questions

https://www.threestarleadership.com/decision-making/decision-making-10-great-situation-analysis-questions

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Decision Making: 10 Great Situation Analysis Questions
Good decision making starts with effective situation analysis. In the world of theory, this is called "getting the facts." It's followed by "analyzing the facts." Then comes "make the decision," followed by "implement the decision." This straight-line picture of decision making is pure fantasy. In the real world, things aren't quite so neat.

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Decision Making in Theory

Decision Making in Theory
  • Good decision making starts with getting the facts;
  • It's followed by analyzing the facts;
  • Then you make the decision;
  • And finally, you implement the decision.

This straight-line picture of decision making is pure fantasy.

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Decision Making in Practice

  • Most of the time, you don’t start with facts. You start with opinions. 
  • Data gathering and analysis and deciding what to do, and doing it all overlap. 
  • Analyzing the situation is still really, really, really important. Asking lots of good questions is the key to getting good analysis and good results.

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10 great questions for decision making

10 great questions for decision making
  • What’s the story of the problem?
  • Why do we want to solve the problem?
  • What do we know for sure?
  • What are we assuming?
  • What don’t we know?
  • What’s a similar situation?
  • What happens if we do nothing?
  • What’s the goal?
  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • What’s the first step?

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Not Making Good Decisions

We are exposed to biases that influence our ability to make good decisions.
  • We are quick to jump to conclusions because we fail to search for information that might disprove our thoughts.

The Four Villains of Decision Making

  • Narrow framing: The tendency to define our choices in binary terms. We ask, "should I, or shouldn't I?" instead of “What are the ways I could...?”
  • Confirmation bias: People tend to select the information that supports their preexisting attitudes, beliefs, and actions. 
  • Short-term emotion: When we’ve got a difficult decision to make, our feelings occupy our minds. And this doesn't add any new information that could benefit us. 
  • Overconfidence: People often think they know more than they actually do about how the future will unfold.

Defeating Decision-Making Villains

  • Counter narrow framing by widening your options. Expand your set of choices.
  • Confirmation bias leads you to gather self-serving information. Analyze and test your assumptions to overcome the bias.
  • Short-term emotion will tempt you to make the wrong choice. So distance yourself before deciding.
  • Prepare to be wrong. Don't be overconfident about how the future will unfold.

The ABCDs of categorizing decisions

The ABCDs of categorizing decisions
  • Big-bet decisions: infrequent and high-risk - from major acquisitions to game-changing capital investments;
  • Cross-cutting decisions: frequent and high-risk - think pricin...

Approaching big bet decisions

  • Appoint an executive sponsor to work with a project lead to frame important decisions for senior leaders to weigh in on;
  • Break things down (with decision meetings at each stage), and connect them up.
  • Focuses on debating the solution (instead of endlessly elaborating the problem) and gather the right people.
  • Move faster without losing commitment: get comfortable living with imperfect data and being clear about what “good enough” looks like.

Approaching cross-cutting decisions

  • Identify decisions that involve a cross-cutting group of leaders, and work with the stakeholders of each to agree on what the main steps in the process entail.
  • Work through a set of real-life scenarios to pressure-test the system in collaboration with the people who will be running the process.
  • Limit the number of decision-making bodies, and clarify for each its mandate, standing membership, roles etc.
  • Create shared objectives, metrics, and collaboration targets.

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Rushing to conclusions

It’s sometimes necessary to make decisions quickly. But if you’re frequently skipping steps, you could be misdiagnosing problems and making decisions that don’t solve anything.

Take th...

Dodging the decision

Sticking your head in the sand and just hoping it will go away isn't wise. Procrastination only causes problems to fester and possibly grow bigger. 

For example, if you have two feuding employees, you may avoid confronting the issue in the hope they will work it out on their own. If they don’t, the conflict may grow and boil over.

Over-analyzing information

To overthink a decision may cause you to miss time-sensitive opportunities.

Whether it’s due to fear or perfectionism, being indecisive and taking too much time to gather information not only affects the productivity of your business, but it also damages your employees’ confidence in you as a leader.