• Charlie Winn

Who is (or Should be) Making Key Decisions in Your Business?

There’s nothing more important to a growing business than the quality and timeliness of decision-making.

Yet how do you know if you are making optimum decisions? Who is actually making them? How do you decide who decides?

When you drill down into your business decision-making process, it may be murkier than you think.

But don’t despair. This is where some critical thinking and effective leadership structures can save the day.


The problem of ad hoc decisions, floating leadership

Many businesses start off on the wrong foot, and never look back.

This means the organisation grows in an ad hoc way, lacking clarity around departments, demarcation and who’s in charge of what.

The solution? Getting the structure sorted

Focus on two key areas when assessing the effectiveness of your current decision-making team.

Leadership structure

The right leadership structure sets you up for success, bringing clarity, accountability and increased efficiency to your business.

Strategic management can help transform your organisation, starting with the basics of who does what. Think about the way you:

  • Concentrate on creating an effective leadership structure so that relevant information especially appropriate decisions that need to flow across the whole organisation.

  • Set up departments or divisions. You can expand and develop as you progress, but consider sales, operations, admin, PR and finance, for starters.

  • Define key individual roles and the role of leadership teams, determining who and which team is responsible for specific duties and decisions.

  • Fill positions with the most suitable people. (Now is a good time to assess how well your workers are performing).

  • Work out an escalation process, to resolve disputes effectively.

  • Create a business growth strategy, to take you into the future.

Decision-making framework

There are different ways to create a strong decision-making framework, and one size doesn’t fit all circumstances.

The aim is to avoid costly delays and deadlock, when trying to meet a deadline or complete a project. Options include:

  • Decision framework: who, which team and when are different types of decisions need to be made. Examples include budget approvals, business plan approval, hiring of staff, firing of staff, or onboarding of an outsource partner.

  • Decision log or register. Create a document including the who, what, when and why of specific decisions, accessible to everyone.

  • Solutions-based thinking. Find the right solution from multiple options.

  • Work backwards. Imagine the option decided on fails, and use different scenarios to find out why.

  • Take a long-term view. What do the results look like 10, or 20 years from now?

  • Accept risk. Work out how much risk you are prepared to take, and why.

  • Assess your hierarchy. Do you have a single leader, an executive team or a flat structure, with many involved in decisions?

  • Break the day. When it comes to daily decision-making, prioritise essential tasks and work down the list.


The benefits of clear decision-making

The best leadership and decision-making structures have several key elements in common.

Transparency

Explain the rationale behind your decisions, avoiding secrecy and guesswork.

Consensus

When you include people in the decision-making process, they are generally happier with the result.

Accountability

Front up when decisions don’t work out, discussing the reasons so you can do better next time.

Do you need help bringing structure into your business decision-making? Schedule a call with Orchard Coaching to get started.

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