Decisions are a part of everyday life, whether it’s what shirt to wear or signing on the dotted line for a million-dollar business venture. So, how should we formulate a decision? I’ve found that the best approach is using multiple decision-making tools to get to the best answer for everyone.
Those making decisions currently rely at least partially on artificial intelligence. According to the 2018 Data and Marketing Association (DMA) Statistical Fact Book, 51% of marketing leaders already use, or plan to use, AI technology over the next two years, and about 50% said, “it is an important objective to make decisions based on data.”
What about good old-fashioned intuition? Using one’s gut instinct can only take you so far. It’s important to be objective and leverage good data to support the ideas you have.
In fact, the successful people that I know analyze data and use their intuition to make sound business decisions.
Mistakes will undoubtedly happen, but when they do, reduce your risk as much as possible by finding ways to lessen the loss. There is much to be learned from failure.
Some say Thomas Edison failed over 1,000 times before he invented the light bulb. He had a different take on his innovation. Edison said, "I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." Successful people will have a plan B in place, knowing that circumstances vary and may not be within their control.
It’s important to do your research before making decisions. Even if everyone is in favor of an idea, you should still do your due diligence before forging ahead. Good decision-making entails a balance of taking time to do your homework, and being careful not to purposely look for red flags that could derail you or squash the entrepreneurial spirit of a team.
I find that I gain insight when I least expect it. For clarity, be sure to give your brain a break. Slowing down gives you the ability to listen to your instincts with better clarity: This is why meditation is practiced by so many.
The most important thing -- look at the entire picture when making big decisions. Ask yourself these questions:
- How will it impact future business or future opportunities?
- How will it fit in with my current responsibilities and priorities?
- Will I need to put something else on the back burner?
Reach out. Don’t make decisions in isolation. Tap into your team or a network for insight. The best question to ask others is “What is your thinking on this?” It will give you the most helpful feedback. Never ask what they think you should do, and keep your confidant group small if you are seeking fast input for quicker decisions.
Photo: Courtesy Fancycrave on Unsplash