It is important to recognize that there are consequences for taking too long to make decisions in today's business climate. Today the amount of time required to conduct business has accelerated to the point where, in order to remain effective and viable, leadership must be able to make decisions based on information at hand and past experience in a relatively rapid time period. This means that organization of resources and services is key. For relatively inexperienced entrepreneurs, decisions can seem fraught with challenge. It may often seem as if the weight of each decision may determine the course of your company. In some cases that may be true. But what is most true is the kind of indecision which paralyzes - causing a business to stop in its tracks - might create a worse outcome than a decision that yields a dead-end.
Some suggestions for making decision making seem less portentous:
1. Listen to your gut; your instinct is there to lead you in the right direction.
An empirical study (Khatri and Ng, 2000) conducted on the role of intuition in strategic decision-making found support of the hypothesis that intuitive synthesis is greater in unstable than in a stable environment and that in an unstable environment intuitive synthesis is positively related with organisational performance. Furthermore, a study of entrepreneurial personality (Levander and Raccuia, 2001) found support that rationality has a lower priority than instinct in shaping entrepreneur’s behavior.
2. Know your strenths and capitalize on them .
Learning how to identify your strengths and then capitalize on them by acknowledging the strengths of your partners and colleagues can give your company the freedom to focus on its main challenges and opportunities, with people addressing the problems that require their strengths .
3) Remember that a decision may not result in a black or white answer but a shade of grey. Stay open to unforeseen outcomes.
4) Make an effort to embrace change; stay current within your field and society at large in order to have new ideas and information flowing in to help shape your decisions.
Mintzberg and Westley (2001) advise simply to ‘jump into the pool,' hence, to undertake an action. The feedback of the action will direct the further steps. Thus, ‘doing first’ is a way to evaluate possible alternatives, to see which one suits best the organisation and to continue following it. This approach is advisable when the situation is novel and confusing, and things need to be worked out claim Mintzberg and Westley.
Often our fear of decision making is that of making the wrong choice. If we learn from a choice we have made then it was a successful opportunity to fill in information gaps and react to them.
How are you choosing to find ways to make decision-making less stressful?
"If you put off everything 'til you're sure of it, you'll get nothing done."
Norman Vincent Peale