Are you a strategic decision maker?
15 August 2019
Decision-making is a daily function of business, and we spend much of our time making them in one way or another.
Successful businesses operate through continuous, strategic decision-making, which is either reactive or proactive.
Reactive decisions are brought about once we are aware of the situation. The majority of us think and operate reactively; after all, the world is unpredictable.
Part of being a reactive decision maker is taking a task and dealing with it responsively and efficiently, however unexpected the circumstances may be. A firefighter arriving at the scene of a fire makes decisions based on immediate factors that have been rationalised according to solid training and set procedures.
In business, our decisions are often to rectify a problem or make an improvement. In these cases, we need to look at the route of the problem and the possible consequences to make informed decisions.
If you are a Proactive decision-maker, you’ve probably been in your line of work for long enough to have gained extensive knowledge within your field, an ability to weigh up the relevant factors and a strong intuition for what works for your business. This places you several steps ahead of the game and allows you to plan for the future and spot potential risks – a little like a retired fire fighter who now works in fire prevention.
Although reactive decision-making is part of everyday life, there is often greater value in being proactive!
It’s fantastic when all members of an organisation have the ability to make proactive decisions, and it’s great when this is promoted throughout a business. (This is something we encourage here at Nordens!) It allows staff to feel valued and respected, which contributes to healthy business growth by motivating the team. Everyone gains confidence which results in both themselves and the business flourishing as a result!
With decision-making comes responsibility and accountability, and this can sometimes leave us feeling fearful. No business will ever be completely free from error arising from poor decisions, or simply a lack of proactive thinking. However, we can minimise these occasions with sound internal controls and by allocating enough time for proactive planning.
So, do we become stronger and wiser from our decisions and the consequences of them – Yes!
Our advice is to tackle all decisions head on and make a positive step forward with each one – take responsibility and reap the rewards! And importantly, ensure you assign time for more proactive thinking!