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Posted by Sarah Brown on 25 Jun '13

Better Decision Making

We make decisions every minute of every day even if the decision is to keep doing what we are doing but scarily too many decisions can work out wrong. Based on Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath I've developed a tool "The Decision Improver"(c) to help you make better decisions. Firstly be aware that it is rare a decision should be whether or not - widen your options, then test your assumptions, reduce the emotion, get your distance and then prepare to be wrong in either direction - overly successful or failing.

The last few weeks have been wonderful, partly because I had a great trip to the Norwegian Fjords, but mainly because I have been reading two books by Chip and Dan Heath and they have both been thought provoking and inspirational.

Decisive prompted me to create a new tool the Decision Improver(c) which we now use with clients.

In summary the decision making process they discuss WRAP has the following stages:

1 Widen your options

Ask if you can do this and that consider multiple things at one time, get options from your competition, best practice, ideas that have worked for you in the past.

2 Reality test your assumptions

Particularly with new services and products the acid test is 'will someone pay for it?' - market research is not the same. Actively look for people who disagree and be open to their ideas. Ego is a danger in decision making - there are scary statistics about takeovers in the book.

3 Attain distance

When we are too close to things we get emotional and often we have short term emotion - will it really matter in 10 years time? What are your core values - make sure your decisions fit with them

4 Prepare to be wrong

Decisions often don't have to be irrevocable, put in some checkpoints along the way when you can change direction. Prepare for amazing success or failure and think about ranges of results - talking to clients about revenue targets I encourage a realistic goal, a bottom end target and high end target to get a feeling of scale.

Just using these simple ideas has improved my decision making, made me think and made me less scared about making the wrong decision .