Archive for December, 2005

Rapid Decision-Making – How do we make better, faster decisions in business?

Blink, a book by Malcolm Gladwell, explores the process of making ‘snap’ judgments and gut level decisions.    I have what my partner, Gary, and I jokingly call my ‘spidey sense’ – an intuitive take on people and situations that has proven correct more often than not.  Gladwell’s book theorizes on how such snap decisions works.  The audiobook for Blink is a fun listen, and it got me thinking about my own rapid decisions in work, life, driving or even on the tennis court.

BlinkCDCover200HBut how do we use snap or gut decisions in business?  Like my spidey sense, some business owners rely on their gut to make major decisions.  However, one downside of my spidey sense is that there is no way to discuss with others how or why I came to the decision I did.

Just as you need different tools for different jobs, you need to be able to make both gut decisions and decisions based on facts/data.  The Digital Decision process that we use with our clients, developed by Robert Fritz, is such a tool. In part, it helps us tune up our gut decision, and expose the factors influencing us. It is rapid – minutes vs. months, based on the best data that we have at the moment we are making the decision, and it lets us share the rationale for the decision with others.

One of our clients used Digital Decision-making to evaluate expanding into a new territory.  Some of the elements that were considered were:  profitability of the territory, if the expansion supported the overall goals of the organization, the capacity of the organization to manage the new territory, and the ability to keep their best people. The owners of the business explored how they were thinking about their ‘gut’ decision, and found that a territory they had favored at first glance would undermine overall growth if they expanded there.

Compared to many decision-making processes, which require reams of information and get bogged down in the actual process, the Digital Decision process is a breeze.  It allows for fast prototyping of decisions, and helps you to target missing information that you actually need to make decisions. In many cases, such as acquiring territory or hiring multiple people for the same position, the same ‘decision grid’ can be reused by others to make decisions as you would.

While decisions developed with the Digital Decision process aren’t made in a “blink of any eye”, they are rapid, thoughtful and sound, and a worthwhile addition to any executive’s toolkit.

To learn more, or to start making Digital Decisions right away, contact us here…

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Saturday, December 17th, 2005 Business Insights, Main Page No Comments

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