Decision-making is one of the most important responsibility of leaders, second only to getting the right people in the right roles. Unfortunately, very few leadership teams know how to make decisions that will withstand the test of time. How can we all make better decisions?
They key is to start with the hard facts, objective data that is well organized and easy to understand. Once we have the facts in front of everyone, it is more difficult for any one of us to make up stories based on our own agenda or perspective.
The next step is to establish a process and timeframe for making a decision. The process should specify roles for each team member (facilitator, context provider, decion-maker, etc) and the desired outcome. Everyone should have a clear understanding of the problem to be solved. The process should include enough time and discussion to ensure everyone buys in to the problem statement and objectives. Otherwise, team members might unintentionally sabatoge decisions down the road.
Decision-making like all aspects of leadership is not difficult. But, with all components of effective leadership, it requires getting out of our comfort zone, getting out of our typical distracted states and focusing in a strategic and proactive manner.