6 tricks to keep away from unhealthy administration selections
You should never get mad at yourself for making new mistakes. This is how we learn. However, if you're making too many old mistakes, here are six tips that can help improve the quality of your decisions.
A decision matrix
When I have to make complex business decisions, I find it helpful to use a decision matrix. This is a fancy name for a table that allows you to evaluate a number of options based on a number of specific criteria. The aim is to develop a quantitative assessment for various options that will help you structure your thoughts. You can download a free Excel template here. Armed with your quantitative assessment tools, here are six tips to avoid bad management decisions.
1. Tell your team what you want to achieve, not how you want to achieve it.
In general, unless you are an expert in the field and you know exactly what you want and why you want it, you should avoid the temptation to tell a salesperson (or a direct report who is trained in the art) what you are want to do. Results are almost always better if you tell them what you want to achieve and then ask them what they suggest and why. Hire the best and make them work.
2. Look for different opinions. Avoid echo chambers, sycophants and yes people.
If you want to make good decisions, you need to hear different points of view. Young people think differently from older people, they have a different relationship with their technology, and they solve problems differently. People from different backgrounds bring a wealth of thoughts into any decision making process. The worst thing you can do is get stuck in a filter bubble or echo chamber where only your ideas are considered and only one approach to a decision is analyzed. Diversity rules. Sycophants and yes people have to go.
3. Gather as much data as you can and take the time to consider it.
More information is available than ever before – but information is not knowledge. You need to collect as much data as possible and then analyze it. When making evidence-based decisions, be aware of how easy it is to make careless mistakes. Here is an example courtesy of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky: “A racket and ball cost a total of $ 1.10. The racket costs $ 1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? “About half of the people who answer this question quickly say 10 cents. If you just think about it for an extra second, this is clearly not the right answer. So take some time to carefully review the data you collect.
4. Recognize your prejudices and be empathetic.
The most successful CEOs are all unique people with unique leadership styles, but the vast majority of them share a particular quality: empathy. You have the ability to put yourself in other people's shoes and know exactly how others are likely to feel after a decision has been made. They also understand that they (themselves) have a biased worldview. Introduce yourself on the other side of the table to avoid making bad decisions. How would you feel? How would you react? This is one of the most helpful thought experiments you can do before making an important decision.
5. Identify alternatives. What if you don't?
What if we do that? What if we don't? One of the best ways to identify alternatives is to imagine it is five years later. Your decision resulted in failure. Why? Then turn it over. Your decision led to success. Why? Argue both sides. Show the obvious. Sometimes the answers aren't as obvious as they should be, and this simple technique will also help you understand what other information you need in order to make a better decision.