Deciding to Decide

One of the best things you can do for your business, if it is beginning to scale, is to decide in advance how you are going to make decisions. This could be in advance of each decision, or even in advance of the decisions being required.

As you have probably noticed, when you are less than ten people, decision-making is quick and intuitive and often driven by the founders’ initial vision – or investor guidance. Once you scale from ten to thirty people however, you will increasingly find decisions being made by groups, often without your involvement – indeed, if you truly want your company to scale, you are required to plan for your own separation from the decision-making process. In such circumstances, the natural tendency of the groups will be for everyone to have chat amongst themselves for a while and once everyone gets tired, the most popular option will be chosen, [sometimes] documented and [usually] implemented.

This is rarely however the best way to make any decision and if it’s a decision that determines the fate of your company [vs the competition], you really ought to consider a different route. The best way, is to have a default method of making decisions (typically data or information based) at the company level, then the freedom to adopt different methods on a case-by-case basis – but in every case, the decision makers should agree in advance on the method for making the decision.

What happens next, is that much of the personal biases that naturally come with working in teams gives way to a more objective evaluation process, which typically involves an information gathering stage, option comparison stage and then and only then a final 'gut check'.

Deciding how to decide: give it a try.

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