The decision-making process is inherently complex and is often recognized as a skill that is largely based on deeply personal values, beliefs, and experiences. In the world of small business, many owners and executives are reluctant when it comes to changing the manner in which they arrive at critical business decisions, especially owners and executives who have already enjoyed some level of success in their professional career.
According to Darren Pawski, every professional should recognize the importance of regularly evaluating the efficacy of the decision-making process with the goal of continually refining and streamlining it in a manner that yields consistently positive outcomes. Pawski, a finance expert who has worked with owners and executives in small business settings on many occasions throughout his lengthy career, outlined some of the more common mistakes made in the decision-making process and offered some simple guidelines for creating a more effective approach.
Balance is often a principal issue in the decision-making process. As Pawski explained, many small business owners and executives will often either rely too much or too little on expert advice. There is also a tendency among these professionals to over- or under-estimate the value of the information they receive. The reason, according to countless studies on perception, is often due to subconscious influences. An awareness of these influences is necessary for achieving a balanced approach to the decision-making process.
Taking the time to thoughtfully examine a potential decision is equally critical. Pawski recommends a consistent structure that can be applied to each decision that ensures there is a thoughtful examination of the necessity of the decision, the alternatives that are available, and the full range of potential outcomes. This approach will then ensure that the best course of action is identified and confidently pursued without hesitation or even a hint of doubt.
Although it may seem counterintuitive to some, the application of such a structure to the decision-making process is actually a timesaving measure. Through a thoughtful and consistently structured process, owners and executives eliminate the potential for second-guessing and feel very little need to revisit the issue several times over. Simply visualizing the potential outcomes stemming from each decision helps to identify the full range of possibilities — including the best-case and worst-case scenarios associated with each potential decision — so that executives can pursue the best course of action while also substantially reducing the potential for courting an unnecessary risk.