How to Make Better Decisions

Managers at all levels struggle with decisions. And, get this, research on managers across the country continues to validate this.

The decision making ability comes down to knowing how and having a culture that supports it.

Did you know that…

  1. 98% of managers fail to apply best practices in decision making.  Forbes.
  2. 82% of managers have no ability to hold others accountable.  Partners in Leadership.
  3. Decision making effectiveness is 95% correlated with financial performance. Bain Research.
  4. A good decision framework can “drive 75% better decisions, 2x faster, with 1/2 the meetings and 20% better performance.” Forbes. Erik Larson. HBR. 

In addition, making a decision rarely affects only one person. Collaboration, accountability, communication, cooperation all come into play.

A Culture to Support Better Decisions

What exactly does culture have to do with making better decisions?

The best, most practical, to-the-point definition of culture is “the way we do things around here.”

  • How we correct each other when mistakes are made.
  • How we congratulate each other on successes.
  • Boundaries we just do not cross.
  • How we disagree and come to agreements.
  • How we communicate informally and formally.
  • The degree of openness we accept.

To clarify, it becomes important a culture includes a management team that walks the talk. A management team that lives and breaths the decision making culture.

A Culture to Support Better Decisions

Here are a few quick guidelines to follow:

1. Consistency is Crucial

Intent must match actions and must match results. So, if intent is in place and action appears to match but results don’t happen, then something is broken. It’s time to fix it.

2. Code of Behavior

This code guides the consistency. The code helps prioritize behaviors, actions, each decision.

3. Communicate Goals

Goals must be clearly stated and assigned. Specific, measurable and attainable.

4. Clearly Define Goals

Ambiguity in roles will crush decision making. Saving the day, micromanaging blur the lines of responsibility and push the role back on the person saving the day.

5. Decision Framework

A clean decision framework guides the manager through the most difficult decisions. It guides them through everyday ones.

Now, put these into place and start making better decisions.

Need help making better decisions with your teams and emerging leaders? A conversation is easy and there is no obligation. Contact Phil Bride to get started.


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Phil Bride

Phil Bride

Executive Coach

Phil has over 25 years of experience in corporate setting, from Intel to startups to LMS systems. He graduated the University of Portland with both a Bachelor of Science and MBA in marketing and finance. He is also part of several professional associations including the Contstruction Financial Management Association and Trusted Advisors Network. Outside of work, you can find Phil outdoors either hiking, camping, or skiing with his family.


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