The Decision Cycle™ – A Breakthrough Question
Two years ago, a client asked a question that really fired our neurons.“How do you increase both the quality and speed of decisions at all levels of your organization?”
It's taken two years to sufficiently answer that question and the result is The Decision Cycle™ Methodology.
Before we look at the methodology, let’s clarify some key terms. A decision is a commitment to a course of action. Decision Making is a cognitive process that creates a commitment to a course of action. Decisions translated into action are like pistons converting pressure into force that moves the organizational flywheel. The faster you make decisions, the faster the organizational flywheel moves.
Making and implementing faster, smarter decisions is the key to winning in the New Normal. Why?
Technology, globalization and interwoven financial markets not only reduce the time between events and decisions, they increase the consequences of decisions. In short, there is less room for error. That is why improving decision quality is absolutely essential to success.
Why do we need speed? Because of rapid, often unpredictable change, time windows for decisions are closing faster than ever. When the rate of decisions falls behind the time windows, problems emerge. In the New Normal, time is NOT on your side.
Now let’s consider the “how” part of the question, which leads us into systems thinking. To achieve faster, smarter decisions at all levels of an organization, you need a whole system
perspective. Piece-meal just doesn’t cut it. You have to understand and align the dots and you have to see decisions as a continuous cycle occurring over time, rather than as a static snapshot.
The Decision Cycle™ Methodology is a continuous cycle with three interdependent dimensions:
Dimension One: Decision STAGES, which are the essential process steps for faster, smarter decisions.
Define – Frame the question, problem or opportunity.
Generate / Compare – Explore and assess multiple alternatives
Decide / Plan – Choose the best alternative and define action steps.
Implement / Monitor – Take action and track the results.
Review / Adjust - Think about your results and why and course correct.
Dimension Two: Decision ENABLERS, which are the means by which you achieve faster, smarter decisions.
Virtual Tools / Processes – to streamline and accelerate the processes.
Collective Intelligence – to make smarter decisions with greater buy-in.
Decision Ownership – to ensure urgency and accountability.
Dimension Three: Decision BEHAVIORS, which is the code of conduct that is critical for fast, smart decisions.
Trust Behaviors – Trust opens the door for honest communications.
Participant Behaviors – Pace and quality require proactive participants.
Cognitive Behaviors – Interrogate reality from multiple perspectives.
Ensuring faster, smarter decision cycles is a core responsibility for leaders at every level because strategies, plans and action agendas are in the end decisions. The faster and smarter you make those decisions the higher your probability of success.
If you find the ideas in this article interesting and would like to explore how they can accelerate your top priorities, please let us know. We would be happy to schedule a complimentary consultation.
All the best,