As a leading decision-maker, you are called upon to make strategic business decisions every day. For some, making decisions is a real challenge. Regardless of your role in an organization, when pressed to make a decision, some become frozen with the fear of making the wrong call. Should we make this hire? Which benefits package should we choose? In what market should we invest limited sales and marketing resources? There is an endless list of decisions sitting in your inbox right now awaiting you to make the call.
Each critical business decision can be made quickly and relatively easily if you first ask yourself these three questions:
Is this this good for the business?
After all, as a business leader you are responsible, in part, for the success of your company. You are obligated to reject any proposals that you believe will cause harm to the business. If you can’t see how the business benefits from the decision and pushes the company towards its goals, you must be willing to say no.
Is this good for the customer?
"Service Level" by Jeroen van Oostrom,
We must keep the customer “in the room” when making strategic decisions. Take a moment to consider how your decision will impact your customers. So often, businesses ignore or never consider how a decision will affect their customer base. Make sure you have focused on how your decision will potentially improve customer experience or negatively impact it. Be aware of the “law of unintended consequences" as well. How might this decision impact the customer that is not immediately obvious? Ask this question until you are satisfied with the answers.
Is this good for me?
As selfish as this may sound, it is important to understand how a decision will impact you personally and/or professionally. Will it make your ability to service internal or external clients easier or more difficult? Will it impact other responsibilities or commitments you have already made? How will it impact your career or earning potential?
If you can’t say yes to these three simple questions when evaluating an important business decision then more work is required before a decision can be made. Look for ways to adjust the circumstances so that you can answer yes to each question.
At the end of the day, if you have to give the go ahead when you can only say yes to 1 or 2 questions (as will happen from time to time) at least you will be completely aware of the risks involved.
BEWARE: A decision that seems good for you and either good for the business or customer but not both will potentially blow up in your face and ultimately make it a bad decision. Shoot for all three and you will usually come out ahead.
Do you have a simple process for making business decisions? Do you agree or disagree with the above approach? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.