Friday, April 25, 2008

The art of effective decision making

What does it take to make an effective manager ? The ability to conjure upon ideas, lot many infact and bring it to actions, taking care to share the rewards equally among his peers. Seems, someone just made the ways of becoming a manager a simple task. Well, the truth is, its easy to just be a manager, but its tough to be an effective one. For instance, two managers can be equally knowledgeable about their industry and products, and have expertise on company's finances and operation, and even be acquainted to unseen quirks and talents of their employees. Yet one may be highly successful while the other mediocre at best. The former might climb the hierarchy ladder with faster rate than the latter. So what the difference?
Is it the difference in numbers of effective and wise decisions they make ? But one shouldn't be carried away by the ability to make large numbers of decisions.
Remember, Making the decisions the right way is more important than making the right decisions.

But, for that decisions have to come up first, Right !! One of the question that you can come upon is , why you need to take the decision ? Well, making decisions can be of two types normally. The first one is arrived at using a specific process and which will have a cumulative effect on the people you're working with. Second one could be the personal decisions, you make now and then. For example, should I type this article through my keyboard or should I pen it down in my note. And there I made this decision of typing it down(maybe am lazy writing it with a pen). So these kind of decisions are continuous, though I can confirm If one takes decision while asleep also. So basically, decisions are as important as the air you breathe. Sometimes you decide on the kind of air you breathe as well. Obnoxious smell, and you close your nose.

But, lets concentrate on the first one, since this is something that would decide if you can manage a group of people, which further would zero-in to the ability of managing yourself to manage others. Sounds confusing ? Don't be !!

Well, its important that one has to be a good decision maker at the first place.
So If we narrow down the list of the steps to wise decision making, they would be :
--Defining the problem: make it as specific as you can, come up with a list of decisions that need to be made. Come up with questions such as, if this is your decision or someone else's? Do you really need to be taking the decision ? Is it the right time to make the decision ? Is it an important decision(prioritize your decisions) ? Who all would be affected by this decision ?
--Come up with as many alternatives as you can think of. : Brainstorming is important for bringing out all the possible answers to your problem.
--Your resources : think about the resources from where you could get more information about possible alternatives.
--Cross check your alternatives.
--Evaluation of your selected alternatives.
--Visualization of the outcomes of each alternative.
--Do a reality check.
--Which Alternative is the most suitable for you and your partners.
--GET Started.
--Keep reviewing it regularly to check if the outcomes are the one that you had expected.

Now, since we have seen the steps, its also important to check on the list of mistakes one usually makes in this regard. And they are:
--Relying too much on “expert” information. Don't emphasize heavily on expert's comments. Those comments have their own axis for its functionality. Your perspective might be different. And this tendency can also cause a bottleneck for the other creative ideas you could come up with.
--Over estimation of the value of information received from others. Don't get swayed by information provided by people inside your social circumference. Try to use those, but after proper evaluation.
--Under estimation of the value of information received from others. So proper analysis of all the information gathered is important.
--Not listening to your feelings or gut reactions.



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