Decision Making in Theory - Deepstash





Decision Making: 10 Great Situation Analysis Questions

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: 10 Great Situation Analysis Questions

Decision Making: 10 Great Situation Analysis Questions


Key Ideas

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.

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?



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.
Decision-making rules

Write a clear, objective set of rules to guide future decisions.

It will enable you to make a decision that is detached from the emotion of the moment.

Don't decide alone

Never make an onerous decision by yourself. Tap into the wisdom of the company's internal crowd.

The 'revolving door' approach

... is a technique that relies on using an outside perspective. 

If you're stuck in a big decision, you have to pretend you're a new CEO or a turnaround manager who can "see things more clearly." Adopting a third-person perspective helps you tap into an objective mode of judgment--one based on facts and an understanding of the consequences.

A checklist for faster, better decisions
  • Write down 3 existing company goals impacted by the decision;
  • Write down at least 3 realistic alternatives;
  • Write down the most important information you...