Making a decision, as a leader, is a critical part of the job. The bigger the decision, the more on the line, the more likely you are to procrastinate or remain stuck. I suggest you avoid these traps.
1. FIFO Bias – The first person that provides information is given a disproportionate amount of weight as you sort through your options. Often the first opinion has extraordinary bias, subject interest, or excessive topical interest. Be careful not to over rate the first opinion in by making it the first solution out. Always pursue uncommon or alternative lines of thought, even if the first one seems correct.
2. State of Affairs Bias – It’s easy to favor alternatives to problems that fit our status quo. Staying in our comfort zone is natural, especially when profitable, just ask General Motors. Instead, ask yourself if staying in that comfort zone serves your objectives and gives you the results you expect. Downplay the urge to stay in your current state. However, change for change sake does not make a policy either. So weigh the strategy versus the decision.
3. Sherlock Holmes Bias – When you find new information validates your current point of view, I challenge you to ask a respected colleague (preferably from the outside) to argue your perspective. Making decisions based upon the views of yes men is very dangerous and the sign of leadership weakness.
4. “Hear Yee, Hear Yee” Bias – Some executives with this bias form committees or seek employee answers via the concept of empowerment. Then they shelve the problem until either a consensus is reached or they feel good about the collaborative choices. Be the judge and make a decision with conviction and authority. I challenge you to research the modern business definition to the word collaboration, especially if you are over 40.
Decisions are without question difficult, especially in this economy. But more than ever before, leadership rallies the troops, and guidance with empowerment gets results. Remember these pointers at decision time.
While, as with all companies, you are focused on the performance metrics in which our stakeholders rely, you pursue continuous improvement strategies that drive customer, employee, and investor satisfaction. Decisions must be made in balance with the strategic vision.
Combine time tested best practices with best-of-breed technologies and top notch seasoned agents who know how to balance any discussion with honor and candor. Be committed to providing quantifiable value to your company.
Take metrics management from a recording process to driving action plans. We believe and will reinforce that most of today’s robotic marketing systems can outperform your sales force.
Thomas von Ahn | Chief Elephant Slayer | Viral Solutions LLC