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The stringiest theory of decisions…

Your team is connected by a string of decisions. Sometimes, you can see how the decisions connect – like the passing of a baton. Other times, decisions are separated like a cat batting a ball of yarn around the room. But that does not mean they are any less connected.

I recently saw the movie, Everest and before I got from my theatre seat to my car seat I had at least 10 business analogies. (Ok, so I just can’t “hep” myself.) Everest was a perfect storm example of how “yarn ball” decisions can lead to the failure of the team. In the movie, it was loss of life. In a typical manufacturing day it could be a failure of safety, quality, shipments, or cost performance.

We all make decisions;

  • Some small (Do I eat healthy at lunch?),
  • Some big (Do I want to get out of bed today?),
  • Some with ramifications (Eating healthy) and,
  • Some without (Maybe they won’t notice I’m not at work today? ;-)
Decisions

Decision Cycle

Foundational to our decisions is trust that everyone does what they said they would. Our assumptions guides our decisions and our communication propels our decisions.

The movie got me thinking about some key points to remember as you make decisions…

If your decision takes you outside of your normal processes, you must step up the communication of that decision. You cannot “over communicate”. Many times those are the decisions we tend to down play, not wanting to bring attention to the fact we had to work outside the normal paths. However, that is exactly when you must communicate so that everyone else’s decisions can support.

Always keep the overall goal in sight. Small decisions (made in the immediate), over time, can take you further and further away from the optimum goal. Keep coming back to the goal. Base line your decisions to the big picture – not to what you decided yesterday.

Decision_yarnpath

The Sub-Optimal Yarn Path

We are not perfect. I know, shocking, right? That is why there are processes and procedures. That is why you
have a team. Let’s say you made a decision that did not work out perfectly. Assess and redirect course. It is never the first mistake that defeats the goal, it is multiple bad decisions or what I call the “Yarn path”.

I have learned that for some decisions, a 100% success rate isn’t going to happen. Yet, you may have made the best decision based on the facts at the time. We do not have “crystal yarn balls” to read the future. Just cause things did not work out perfectly does not mean you made a bad decision. Instead – figure out what the next right decision is, make it and drive forward.

Do the next best right thing. Align yourself to your overall goal. Be intentional.
Melissa