As organizations grow, decisions generally become more frequent, complicated, and have more serious ramifications for leaders.
The most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders in the world will tell you they have made many wrong decisions throughout the lifetime of their careers, but those failures always lead to valuable learning experiences, so above all, it’s important to find ways to make the tough decisions.
In any field you find yourself, one need to learn how to make quick decisions in highly chaotic business environments. Metropolitan School of Business and Management UK have designed series of courses such as Special Executive Masters Programme (SEMP) in Global Business Strategy, SEMP in International Business, etc to help business leaders and managers to be innovative free thinkers with the ability to make rational decisions with limited information under very stressful circumstances.
In some situation, things change constantly and contingency planning is crucial, but without proper execution and rational decision-making, no plan will lead to a successful mission.
Business owners, executives and managers must master the ability to make good decisions quickly in order to keep the business moving forward. The best leaders, however, know when they need input from the team. Good leaders surround themselves with trusted advisors and subject matter experts, so that they can access a constant flow of data to make better decisions.
There are four basic decision-making styles that leaders can use:
- Command: Command decision-making is where leaders make decisions without consulting their teams. This is an effective style, especially when things are moving quickly and the team is looking for immediate guidance. In a business setting, leaders use this style the most effectively on large financial decisions and in crisis situations.
- Collaborative:Collaborative decision-making is just what it sounds like. Leaders gather their teams and request feedback and insight. The leader still makes the final call, but is armed with the proper data to make a more informed decision. This can also be referred to as evidence-based decision-making. With this style, and really in all business decisions, avoid surrounding yourself with people that always agree with you. You need people who are able to strongly argue the other side. Whether you use their advice or not, it will help clarify your decision.
- Consensus: Consensus-based decision-making is done more like a democratic vote. Leaders gather their teams and everyone votes. Majority rules. This process can work well when the outcome of the decision affects the entire team, and generally won’t immediately affect the bottom line. In a quick-moving business environment, this is not the most efficient way to make a decision, but there are still some decisions that can be made this way. This type of decision-making can help mold the culture when the team is allowed to vote and have a voice. Just remember you generally can’t please everyone.
- Convenience: When surrounded by trusted peers, sometimes the best decision a leader can make is to not be the one to make a certain decision. Complete delegation (convenience decision-making) has many benefits including measuring the decision-making abilities of your managers, empowering your team, and maintaining your own sanity! By handing over some decision-making responsibilities, leaders are also building a better management team and giving them the confidence they need as their responsibilities increase. And, convenience-based decision-making is a great way to avoid the decision trap of “we’ve always done it this way.” New decision makers take fresh approaches to solving problems.
Does any of the above decision-making works for you? Or what style of decision-making works best for you? Share in the comment box.