The average person makes an astonishing 35,000 decisions a day. Many of these daily decisions are minor and don’t have a long-term impact on life, but in the business world decisions can carry more weight. Choices such as where to allocate your annual resources and how to accept secure online payments affect the bottom line and the stability of a company.
Decision making difficulties
There are many reasons that people have problems making decisions. Jospeh Bikart, author of The Art of Decision Making, highlights several reasons that people have difficulties. The environment we live in is full of choice and studies show that when people are presented with too many options they find themselves unable to choose. This environment can also lead people to procrastinate. Although procrastination may seem comfortable in the short term, people forget that putting off a decision is also a choice – a choice to wait – and this can be costly in the business world.
High quality decisions in business
Making fast, effective decisions is not always easy. A survey by McKinsey and Company revealed that many businesses felt decision making processes in their company could be improved. Although over half of respondents spent more than 30% of their time making decisions, the majority believed this time was not used effectively. Respondents were unsatisfied with the time it took to make decisions and contrary to popular belief, taking more time to deliberate over a decision did not result in a higher quality decision. Good decisions could be implemented quickly, which saved companies time and money.
Only a fifth of respondents surveyed hit the sweet spot – making high-quality decisions quickly. Their businesses had three things in common:
- Decisions were made at the right level – These businesses worked to delegate decisions to the most relevant area of the company.
- Decisions aligned with corporate strategy – Those businesses that made high quality, quick decisions ensured they were in synch with the values of a company.
- Commitment was fostered – These companies found it was vital to secure the commitment of employees to a decision. These employees did not necessarily have to vote on the decision, they simply had to be dedicated to its success.
How to avoid decision failure
Sometimes businesses make decisions that appear to be solid only to find they end in failure. Here are three tips for how to make better decisions.
- Challenge the initial assumptions – When approaching a problem, many businesses look for a solution without first scrutinising perceived constraints. By limiting themselves, these businesses can miss out on innovative solutions, for example, investigating only traditional methods of payment instead of challenging the assumptions and trying a new method of accepting secure online payments.
- Do a pre-mortem – It is standard practice to assess the outcomes of a project after implementation, but it is just as important to carry out an evaluation of positive and negative outcomes prior to selecting a way forward. A pre-mortem will help a business predict pitfalls, saving time and money.
- Don’t overlook the basics – It does not pay to forget the fundamentals. One famous example that underscores the importance of this tip is the crash of the Mars Climate Orbiter in 1999. One team working on the project used the metric system and the other used the Imperial system. This failure to doublecheck the basic units resulted in a $125 million (approximately £93 million) mistake when the probe crashed into Mars.
One quick, cost-effective decision your business can make right now is switching to Ordo. Ordo is an innovative method for accepting secure online payments. It will save your company time and money because as soon as a customer makes a payment the money is instantly available. Arrange a demonstration today and learn about how Ordo can improve the efficiency of your business.