Critical decision-making is never easy – the decision to be made is critical for a reason. The decision could make or break an organization or set it on a new path to success or failure. New leaders won’t be leading long if they can’t make critical decisions that render success or otherwise help obtain goals. The problem is this: you often hear persons in high positions say they make decisions based on their gut. In other words, they make knee-jerk decisions. Sometimes, those decisions may indeed be the right ones, but at other times, they aren’t. Is that type of critical decision-making effective?
Probably not, and that can be a problem.
Ineffective critical decision-making means limited confidence in how an organization may perform and how a new leader may be able to lead. On the other hand, effective critical decision-making boosts both performance and confidence. According to a study by Bain and Co., effective decision-making correlates to financial performance at a “95% confidence level.” The study also found that organizational restructuring has little effect on financial performance – that means most of the latter comes down to the critical decision-making of the leader.
Thus, new leaders must make effective critical decisions because it can have a direct impact on the financial success of the organization. Critical decisions like “fork-in-the-road” situations (e.g., which software to use or which market is best or which new direction to take) or ethical quandaries (e.g., what makes a workplace environment toxic or what is a questionable use of company equipment) can have both direct and indirect effects on the financial performance of the organization. The financial performance of the organization determines the overall health of the organization and its ability to survive, thrive, and manifest its vision.
Whether you lead an organization for-profit (e.g., a medical technology firm, architectural firm, financial company hospitality business, or construction company) or nonprofit, leaders — new ones especially – must make critical decisions. Drew Povey provides an effective way to make critical decisions. He coined the process as the Triple P model, meaning:
This seemingly simple but meaningful approach to critical decision-making consists of three methods encompassed in one strategy. New leaders should consider it and put it into regular practice when making critical decisions.
So, an issue arises, and it has you up at night. It could change the way the organization operates. Rather than make a knee-jerk decision based on your gut feeling, take a moment to breathe. According to Povey, pausing buys you time to make sure the decision you make is the best one. Part of this determination will be based on two things: gaining perspective and prioritizing goals.
This is another one you’ve heard before: gaining perspective. This one is an important one. There’s always more than one perspective, and it’s not that one is better than the other, but that other perspectives inform your perspective, and that, in turn, informs the decision-making. Gaining the perspective of others is akin to getting pieces of a puzzle––it helps develop the full story, and knowing the full story, you can gain some clarity.
With perspective gained, ask questions to narrow the focus, like:
Of course, addressing these questions also informs your perspective and deepens your understanding.
With a thorough understanding of the context and clarity on the potential outcomes of each possible decision, you should prioritize goals to make sure the decision you make aligns with the outcome you desire. No doubt, more than one good (or bad) decision can be made, and prioritizing goals allows you to choose the decision that best fits the current situation.
When it comes to IT decisions, a leader must be cautious. An organization’s computer and network system houses the data and aids in the organization’s mission. You need to consider security, functionality, usability, and efficiency, among other things, when determining what and how IT and technology will be managed. It’ll be one of the most critical decisions a new leader can make. A managed IT services company may be the solution.
If, after using these new ways to make critical decisions, you determine a managed IT services company is the most effective route to obtaining goals. The next critical decision will be determining which IT services company to retain.
Boston Helpdesk can help you make that critical decision today.