The stress on CEOs and founders is a well-documented force. Being at the top is isolating, and the knowledge that your decisions affect not just you, but a whole company, with clients depending on it for results and employees depending on it for a wage exerts a very real pressure.
You need to know how to make good decisions: if you know you have the tools and processes in place to guide your decisions towards the best possible outcomes, you can relax a little. With a framework in place, the burden is lifted a little off your shoulders and onto a system you can trust. Today we’re looking at some of the ingredients that can go into a good decision-making system.
Resting your decision-making processes on data is one of the most important things you can do. Hard facts about how your company has performed in the past, and about the market you operate in allow you to model the outcome of decisions, providing you with a fact-based reason to prefer one choice over another. While no system can provide you with perfect predictions, even a little insight can help you.
It’s important to get expert help here: while you have access to all the data you need to understand how your own company performs, getting hard facts and figures about the market could be a little more beyond your reach. A market research firm comes with experts who can not only undertake the surveys needed for brand tracking and indexing, but also interrupt the results to provide you with actionable insights.
Before you commit to a plan of action, consult on it. It can be difficult to get unbiased feedback from the people that you work with – but if you demonstrate that there are no bad consequences for disagreeing with the boss, and that you will act on feedback if it’s helpful, you can create a constructive company culture that invites the discussion you need to road test your plans before launching them on the world.
The most important thing you can do is look at the results of your decisions: did projects make budget? Did revenue hit the targets you thought it would? Look at the areas where you were wrong, and reality didn’t measure up to your predictions: it’s less comfortable than concentrating on the successes but it’s looking at failures that lets you learn and refine your processes to give you a better chance of success next time.
Fearlessly facing the times your decision-making lets you down allows you to feel more confident about it in the future!