How to Make Better Decisions in the Workplace
Introducing a 3-step method to make effective decisions
If you had trouble with “choose your own adventure” books as a young adult, it doesn’t really get better growing up. Find Black Mirror’s in-between interactive film Bandersnatch paralyzing? With endless scenarios possible, any overthinker would just surrender in defeat—but there’s hope.
We make hundreds of decisions every day and, sure, it does get pretty crippling. Stay transfixed on a question for too long and you may not get anything done. How can decision-making get easier? Don’t waste time—especially in the workplace, when your team’s on the line—and stay productive with these methods backed by professionals.
Matthew Confer, vice president of strategy at Abilitie, is an accomplished leader in management and executive education. The company delivers award-winning programs to leading organizations globally. They’ve condensed decision-making in a three-step method, simplifying the structure to optimize the process. He shares it in a TEDx video.
1. Challenge the constraints.
Exceptional decision-making involves exploring what barriers are holding you back before diving in and resolving the problem. Start there and see what’s possible.
2. Embrace a “pre-mortem.”
When teams reflect over the success of an action—examining what went right and wrong—it’s possible to flip it around and take the “pre-mortem approach.” Consider what failure would look like before going down a path, instead of contemplating success upfront. Strategize from that point and then move to the next step.
3. Check the basics.
It may sound too simple, to a fault, but it actually makes sense. Your team may concoct the most impressive masterplan—with multiple levels of complexity—but forget the most essential things. Consider preparing for unforeseen external events. Don’t forget the small details, which may lead to your downfall (especially if you’re bringing down a whole team with you).
For effective decision-making, think big, contemplate scenarios and don’t forget the small details.
Art Alexandra Lara