Decision Making

by Ian Moore

After the decision

Now that a decision has been made, it is important to get feedback on people’s feelings. This is often ignored in business environments. For example, in a recruitment interview one candidate might come out as ‘perfect’ by all the criteria set before the interview. However, if no one likes the person, they are unlikely to work well in the team.

There is also a need to consider the risk implications (see Risk Management). Some techniques cover some elements of this, but it is also useful to consider all the potential risks.

Agreeing an action plan

And finally, after coming to a group decision, it is critical to agree a group action plan which everyone buys into. What happens next, who does what by when, and so on. There needs to be a commitment to moving on rather than wondering what would have happened with a different decision.

Getting buy in to decisions

So now you have made your decision and are about to implement it. All seems clear to you and the implementation should be fairly straightforward. But have you asked all the people who will be affected and got their buy in? Surprisingly, this stage is often overlooked when implementing a decision, which can lead to disastrous consequences.

Identifying stakeholders

A stakeholder is a person who will be affected in any way by your decision. They are not necessarily always just the obvious people. Think about who will be affected, these may include

  • Your staff
  • Your boss
  • Your CEO and board
  • Other groups within your organisation
  • The customer
  • The public
  • The press.

Try to identify as many groups of people as possible and then...

Establishing stakeholder needs

...go and find out what they think!

Of course this may not always be possible, but identifying all the stakeholders will at least give you some feel for where the main issues might arise.

Quite often, stakeholder needs may be very simple and easily satisfied by incorporating them into your decision. If this is not the case, then you need to find a way to get them on board. If this is not possible, you may need to go back to your decision-making process and think again or be prepared for the consequences and push ahead regardless.