Decision Making
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Decision Making

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Hey! Please USE THIS WORD DOC to jot down your notes here before, during or after the event.

Some questions to get the discussion started:

  • What do you struggle with when it comes to making decisions?
  • What makes a good decision and how do you improve?
  • Whilst it is easy to make decisions for yourself, what gets in the way of making them as a team/group/business?
  • How do you facilitate or navigate the inertia of group think/fear of ownership when a decision falls to many?
  • What tools/systems/approaches have you found to enable good business decision making?

David/Marta/Aaron/Leo/Ausrine

  • Best practice of making effective decisions:
    • Pre-reading before coming into a meeting to make a decision. Doing the work ahead of time, communicating ahead of time.
    • Data: find the data, or find someone who can find the data. Before that even, make a hypothesis for what the data is going to show.
    • Have a set of questions around the decision that needs to be made. Set up a thought provoking structure that allows you to prepare, remove bias, equalize the voices in the room, etc. This also creates habit.
    • Clear accountabilities so that there is a clear decision maker. Each decision/responsibility had the primary and secondary owner. It’s pre-determined who’s a decision maker.
    • Rolling out operating principles: “one decision, one owner”. Something that really stuck with the teams!
    • Whiteboard and pros and cons. As long as you have a decision maker!
    • Recording the decision. The decision making writeup / discussion has to exist somewhere so you can go back and understand why this was decided / for what reason.
    • Sometimes done is better than discussed :)
    • Some decisions should be waited to be made…
  • Recommendations
    • “Working Backward” book - interesting practices of leadership and best practices by/inAmazon

Kirsten/Laura/Astrid

  • How do you get buy in from more senior team?
  • How can we find the right way to make person accountable
  • What do you struggle with when it comes to making decisions?
    • To push back responsibility person to make the decision in a friendly and assertive way
    • Biggest challenge is ownership of decision making
    • Clearly when it’s someone’s remit but it’s when there are grey areas that becomes more challenge - ex - D&I
    • It’s frustrating because we waste time and make the wrong decision or the thing we need is missed.
    • Ex - recruiting
  • What makes a good decision and how do you improve?
    • Information and the right info/ data
    • Right people involved - knowing who to bring in
    • Knowing when you’ve done enough and stopping people from going into analysis paralysis (FOMO) - language and communication + laying out the information
    • Challenge with early stage founders - there is never a process with going back to numbers and looking back at decision
    • Lack of processes for early stage
  • Whilst it is easy to make decisions for yourself, what gets in the way of making them as a team/group/business?
    • Lack of confidence - am I right the person to make this decision
    • Not enough data
    • Conflicting views - who should we go with
    • Agenda driving
  • How do you facilitate or navigate the inertia of group think/fear of ownership when a decision falls to many?
    • Make people sympathise with each other - explain the why behind the decision
    • Going against a compromise - If a solution fits too well and then you have made totally
    • Challenge the reaction to go down one route and find the alternative
  • What tools/systems/approaches have you found to enable good business decision making?
  • How do you get around where a decision hasn’t been made?
  • Do you have people participating in decision making? How do you make sure everyone’s involved?

Ghilaine/Lauren/Eva/Ben/Aleks

Struggles:

Pre-launch and mainly planning and so trying to do make decision without active data, client acquisition vs operational ability, assumptions are heavily involved.

From 2 founders to a group of decision making, problem to solve and then who is responsible. Lots of people involved in a quick decision. Who is responsible? Decisions to be made, how to be made, who needs to be involved? Bottlenecks and small decisions

Going from small culture, everyone inputted, now we have to sideline many people. Some people will not be involved, can’t satisfy everyone, how to we communicate it.

Lots of documents 50% making decisions and 50% executing

What is the cost of the wrong decision vs cost of making the decision

Overlap of everyone being part of every discussion and don’t want to leave people out. When are we discussing and when are we making decisions.

Democratic culture, can be difficult to move to a more expertise based decisions

Make a responsibility matrix for small decisions

Give Veto the ‘expert’

Impact of decision should make person more involved

Have someone who is outside the decision could facilitate

Coach people in how to make decisions

Detail the assumptions you have made and what the decision was made and why

Reflections on a decisions, what was known and what wasn’t known at the time, didn’t have all the information

RACI out the people before decision-making

Natalia, Kru, Beth, Eli

  • What do you struggle with when it comes to making decisions?
  • Personality types - some are less conducive to decision making. Wanting to make the right decision for everyone - under-communicating, fear of speaking up, taking time to build trust. HIPPO effect.Taking the A-Z decision, some people see D-G, some only A, some only Z… lack of a full picture/understanding of processes
  • Perfectionism - people who need to know *everything*. And overthinking the downsides of making the wrong decision.
  • What makes a good decision and how do you improve?

- The results

- Good data to back to the decision making

- Reaching concensus

- Looking at every angle - a good discussion - Clarity at the beginning (this is the decision we’re making) and at the end (this is why we’ve made it)

  • Whilst it is easy to make decisions for yourself, what gets in the way of making them as a team/group/business?

- See above plus:

- People thinking just about their team

- History between people and interpersonal frictions -> quality of debate

- Fear of challenging someone more senior; raise ideas anonymously on sticky notes helps

  • Lack of preparation so does preparing for a meeting and doing the thinking ahead of time; reading material, agendas, homework
  • How do you facilitate or navigate the inertia of group think/fear of ownership when a decision falls to many?

- See a bit above + holding the person that needs to make it to account - put leaders on the spot, or choosing a deadline for a decision

  • What tools/systems/approaches have you found to enable good business decision making?
  • How do you get around where a decision hasn’t been made?
  • Do you have people participating in decision making? How do you make sure everyone’s involved?

General session notes

  • Is the cost of making a decision more than just going off and making a wrong decision? One way doors / two way doors-type-situation.
  • Avoiding the HIPPO effect - writing stuff on paper and then making a decision, to avoid the highest influential person decision.
  • Understanding and seeing the whole context / picture so that everyone sees the A-Z.
  • Preparation…when people don’t prep for the meeting and then make the decisions without having the context.
  • Daniel Kahneman’s “Noise”...talking about people making biased and noisy judgements / not making great decisions. Talking about systems and processes to standardise how you’re thinking about a certain problem. Having a decision making framework will help make more consistent decisions and less noisy judgement.
  • “Thinking fast and slow” by D Kahneman also helps with the decision making.
  • Training groups to make group decisions.
  • Consensus isn’t necessarily a good decision.
  • Discussion time vs decision time. This can get convoluted really easily.
  • “Rebel ideas” book recommendation. Get people involved who’re not emotionally invested, from a different department, had different insight.
  • “Range” book reference
  • Start with the problem not a solution, try to dial back a bit instead of jumping into deciding whether it’s A or B, because maybe it’s C or no decision needs to be made at all
  • Cleaning up the mess as operations people after everyone has made lots of decisions for us…
  • Sharp elbows. Need to get your way in to the decision making room and barge your way in through the door to be heard.
  • Once the decision is made, fully back the decision. Sometimes it’s disagree and commit.

Book recommendations

  • Range
  • Noise
  • Thinking Fast and slow
  • Rebel Ideas Matthew Syed
  • 5 Dysfunctions of a team