Last Updated Apr 14, 2008 7:08 PM EDT
Two managers can be equally knowledgeable about their industry
and products. They both can be experts on their company's finances
and operations, and even the quirks and talents of their employees. Yet one may
be wildly successful while the other mediocre at best. What's the
difference? The ability to make wise decisions. Without it, even encyclopedic
knowledge and impeccable people skills can't make an effective leader.
Here you'll find five articles on the strategies you need to master
this essential management skill.
Are You a Good Decision Maker?
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration
The first step to good decision making is to establish a
process that can be applied to any situation. This article from the U.S. Small
Business Administration lays out the basics: 10 steps to follow and the most common
mistakes to avoid.
High-Stakes Decision Making: The Lessons of Mount Everest
Source: Harvard Business School Working Knowledge
If you’ve mastered the basics of decision making
in day-to-day situations, high-stakes dilemmas still may trip you up —
and there is no higher stake than your life. In this article, Harvard business
professor Michael A. Roberto finds valuable lessons for managers by examining
the events and risky decisions that led to the tragic deaths of five
mountaineers on Mt. Everest.
Why Making Decisions the Right Way Is More Important Than Making the Right Decisions
Source: Ivey Business Journal
Organizations, like many individuals, often shy away from
conflict. Voicing dissent can be uncomfortable and it’s natural for
managers to want to defer to a charismatic leader or expert. Whatever the
reasons, the absence of healthy debate can lead to the making of faulty
decisions. This article from Ivey Business Journal makes the case for why
organizations need to put in place a decision-making process that encourages
dissent while still building a final consensus.
Why a Strong Leader Shouldn’t Stand Alone
What can we learn about decision making from examples of
heroic leadership and heroic deeds? Maybe all the things we shouldn’t
do. This article from consulting firm DQI offers 10 principles, which remind
leaders that team dynamics and humility in a daunting environment often can be more
important than strong leadership.
The Role of Critical Thinking in Effective Decision Making
Source: Global Knowledge White Paper
Preconceived notions are deadly to effective decision
making. In this article you’ll find strategies for how managers can become
more aware of their subconscious assumptions and prejudices. By understanding
the mechanics of their reasoning, leaders can understand what they don’t know, and make better decisions as a result.