Here’s why managers need good decision-making skills in their toolkit for success
Decision-making skills are an important life skill, especially in the business realm. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a manager within an organisation, you may find yourself making big or small decisions in your everyday capacity.
This could include hiring and firing decisions, having to make tough business decisions under pressure, making a decisive decision on a solution to a challenge after receiving input from others, and the like.
There are many case studies to illustrate the effects of poor decisions. Kodak, for instance, failed to adopt digital photography to it’s film-based business model, eventually becoming defunct and filing for bankruptcy in 2012.
In the 80s, Coca-Cola introduced a new flavour only to have it blow up in their faces. Following the introduction, shares of Coca-Cola dropped while the company had to hire extra operators to handle the high volume of angry callers.
It’s clear that being able to make good decisions is critical to the well-being of organisations, and can have a far reaching impact.
Indeed notes that effective decision-making often requires you to identify many potential options, anticipate possible outcomes, consider the needs or wants of others impacted by the decision, understand the impact on a project, department and the organisation as a whole and deliberate when under pressure.
Despite that, it’s not something that leaders can magically develop overnight. So how can managers strengthen their decision-making skills?
Sharpening your decision-making skills
The ability to make good decisions is so important that many top institutions offer courses on the topic, from Harvard to Wharton and the London School of Economics. These courses can help you understand the psychological processes behind decision-making.
Insead, for example, offers Strategic Decision Making for Leaders, which is aimed at executives who are responsible for establishing decision-making processes. The three-day programme delivers the tools and frameworks to help you improve your decision-making and better guide your team’s decisions.
You’ll learn through interactive classroom sessions, case discussions, simulations and group exercises, and develop a practical understanding of what drives your behaviour and those around you.
Wharton’s executive education course in Effective Decision-Making: Thinking Critically and Rationally aims to improve managers’ judgment and critical thinking skills using proven approaches, cutting-edge research and behavioural economics.
You’ll learn how to recognise cognitive biases that inhibit good decisions, and learn to enhance your capacity to make well-thought-out individual, group, and organisational decisions.
EdX offers a variety of decision-making courses, from critical thinking to financial analysis and analytics for decision-making.
Regardless which courses you choose, these courses will equip leaders with a foundation that they can use to make better decisions far into the future.