Every day, you make a multitude of choices. Some of the choices appear small since they are part of your daily bread and butter. However, no matter how little the choice is, it can have repercussions on your day-to-day life outcomes. In the context of professional or social life, these effects can be more ripple. So when it comes to making important decisions that can impact the social or professional environment around you, it is increasingly important to master the art of decision making. With this tutorial on ‘What Is Decision Making,’ you will explore more about decision-making as an integral part of modern management.
What is Decision Making?
In simple terms, decision making is the process of making choices by recognizing the problem, gathering information about feasible solutions, and finalizing the best alternative.
This process is carried out through an intuitive or logical process, or a combination of two. Intuition is all about using your gut feeling to take a stand on the possible course of action. In contrast, a logical process uses facts and figures to make scientifically sound decisions.
Intuition is an acceptable way of decision-making; nevertheless, it is often more suited when the decision is easy, personal, or needs to be made quickly. More complex judgments typically need a more formal, systematic approach that incorporates both intuition and logical reasoning. It is critical to avoid rash reactions or intuitions in such scenarios, majorly in business decisions.
You live in an era of digitalization where new information is generated every second at a rapidly increasing rate. And it circulates all around the globe, 24 by 7. This means the amount of historical records you have in databases spread across the globe is huge. And not making use of it seems totally delinquent. That is why organizations are increasingly relying on business and data analytics to guide their decision-making.
Next, in this ‘what is decision making’ tutorial, you will explore the process of corporate decision-making.
Decision Making in an Organizational Context
The modern business environment is replete with examples of corporations that have made strategic mistakes, most of which are the result of poor judgments made by CEOs and management in these firms. For example, the recent crash of Netflix stocks along with the substantial drop in subscriber count. All of this is because of statements made by Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings in one interview. He talked about launching an ad segment for the low-cost Netflix packs, which led to a horrendous ripple in the share market. Hence, thinking about every statement, initiative and announcement are increasingly critical in an organizational setup.
Another overarching rule in decision making is that the decision-maker must have legitimacy and power over the individuals on whose behalf they are choosing. In other words, decision-makers succeed only when the persons or groups involved in the process respect and obey their choices. Another important aspect of organization-wide decision making is finding the right data. Having incomplete or incorrect information (data) frequently leads to analysis paralysis, which is another label for poor decision-making skills.
Moving forward, in this ‘what is decision making’ tutorial, you will discover a step-by-step approach to making effective organizational decisions.
Step-By-Step Decision Making Process
The step-by-step decision-making process can lead to more deliberate and effective judgments. So, go ahead and discover the involved steps one by one.
1. Identify Your Goals
The first step in mastering the art of decision-making is to clarify your objectives. When it comes to making a professional decision, you should have a rough idea about which direction you want to follow. Once you've narrowed down your objectives, you'll be able to make more informed judgments. Try to define the nature of judgement you want to make.
2. Make Use of the Elimination Process
Along with what you want to achieve with your judgment, evaluating what you don’t is also critical. Making smart judgments might be difficult if you're still trying to determine what you want to do. However, if you know what you want to avoid, the process of elimination might make certain decisions easier.
3. Use SWOT Analysis Method
SWOT is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The SWOT analysis is an excellent decision-making tool since it allows you to determine the pros and cons of a certain decision readily. All you have to do is draw a rectangular shape, divide it into four parts and label each section of the table with SWOT parameters. The image given below portrays the sample SWOT metrics.
In the next step, you will fill all the positives and negatives of your initiative. Focus more on what connects strengths and opportunities when you complete your selection. Anything that is continually linking threats and vulnerabilities should preferably be avoided.
4. Simulate Feasible Outcomes
While simulating probable outcomes isn't a reliable approach to predicting what will happen after you make a decision, there are certain ways to simulate what is more likely to happen because of your decision. If you’re familiar with project management concepts, some of your learnings can be applied here to visualize the outcome of your decision. Scientific methodologies such as problem trees, SCQA (situation, complexity, question, answer), and MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive) can also help you add a touch of science to your decision making.
5. Choose Best Alternative
After you've analyzed all of your options and created a solid visual picture of the repercussions of each, you're ready to choose the one that appears to be the greatest fit for you. If you cannot decide the course of action, ask for help from your colleagues, leadership team, and friends.
Finally, in this ‘what is decision making’ tutorial, you will discover the course of action when your decision fails.
Learn from Past Mistakes to Improve your Decision Making
Most humans make mistakes now and again - after all, you are just human, and no one is flawless. Even if you make poor judgments, reflecting on them can help you improve your future decisions. Try to figure out what went wrong and how you might avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Lessons learned from prior failures can open doors to new ways of approaching problems and possible alternatives, ultimately assisting you in mastering the art of decision-making.
In this ‘What Is Decision Making’ tutorial, you discovered what decision making is and how it appears in an organizational context. After that, you understood step-by-step decision making process. Finally, you went through what you should do when your decision goes sideways.
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If you have any questions or require clarification on any part of this ‘What Is Decision Making’ tutorial, please leave them in the comments box below, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.