Risks, benefits of decision-making

Deciding is a process, not an event, so use that process to learn. Among the benefits of decision-making are:

Discovery. If you ask questions and explore, you’ll get a bigger picture.

Balance between short- and long-term results. You can impose your will in the short term, but you need the team’s backing to achieve long-term results.

Commitment. Allowing dissent and debate builds buy-in.

The risks of decision-making include:

Endless debate. Control debate while allowing for healthy give-and-take, or you may wind up with warring camps.

Tight deadlines. Making decisions under time pressure means voices aren’t heard and important considerations may be missed.

Reputational harm. As much talk as there is about celebrating failure, it’s still risky to be associated with a bad result.

Your challenges are:

There’s no model. This has never been done before.

You’re reusing old mental models. Keep asking “Why?”

People rationalize. Just as you had to “show your work” in high school math, “show your thinking” in the decision-making process.

— Adapted from The Prepared Mind of a Leader, Terry Pearce, Jossey-Bass.