Running a business has its perks, but it also has its challenges. As the person in charge, you regularly have to make decisions that affect you, the employees of your company, the customers of your company, and investors or shareholders. After receiving your online PhD in Business Administration, you will be more prepared to make these decisions.
Those in charge of a business must be able to make quick, smart decisions - but they must also know when a decision requires more thought. Let's consider the five essential steps to take before making any big decision.
Step One: Define the Real Issue
The first step may sound like the simplest, but it can be quite a challenge. Often leaders will make a decision without realizing that it doesn't actually address what needs to be addressed. For example, if one department is understaffed, a leader may make a quick decision to bring on additional staff. They identify the problem as not enough personnel and make a decision to change that. This sounds like the right decision, right? Well, maybe.
If the problem is truly not enough staffing, then hiring more staff would certainly solve the problem. But what if it's not the problem? What if there's something else at play that requires an entirely different solution?
It could be a lack of training that leaves current employees unable to optimally perform their jobs, or it may be time to invest in some technologies that can increase productivity. You'll never know unless you take the time to think critically about the situation and assess the real issue.
Step Two: Outline Your Options and Discuss Them With the Appropriate Personnel
Every problem has more than one possible solution. It's up to you to think of as many possibilities as possible. At this point, even completely off-the-wall solutions are admissible. Though they likely won't make it to the implementation phase, they could open you up to other possibilities. Think of every idea as a path to somewhere - and one of those paths leads directly to your optimal solution.
Once you've gone over your options, it's essential that you discuss them with others. Remember that you're not just making a decision that's best for you - you're looking for the decision that's best for the entire company. Talk to the heads of departments that your decision will affect, talk to managers, or discuss the situation with experts in your field.
Step Three: Make Your Decision
While it is essential that you carefully consider each decision you make, it's also important that you don't drag the decision-making process on longer than necessary. A good rule of thumb is that once you have all the options and have discussed them with the appropriate people, make your decision within one week.
The only exception to this rule is a situation in which new information is on its way. For example, it's acceptable to wait for a new quarterly report to come out before you make your final decision.
Step Four: Plan Implementation
You've made your decision and now it's time to put it into action! This doesn't of course mean that you have to get from Point A to Point B today. It simply means that it's time to get the ball rolling.
If you've decided to diversify training, then now is the time to take to your training department and find out what the next step is. If you've decided to hire more employees, then now is the time to get with Human Resources and get the ad posted. The steps can be small, but you should start taking them as soon as you've made your final decision.
Step Five: Monitor the Situation
Once the decision is in place and the plan is in place, you may think your work is over but the most important part is still ahead of you: Assessing the results. Even the most thoughtfully considered decision may not end up being completely on point the first time. Be open to making changes when you see them and use any setbacks as tools to avoid repeating mistakes you may make.