Making a decision is easy. Making a high-quality decision is a whole other thing entirely. So, how do you do it? How do you make high-quality decisions when the majority of us have never learned how to do it? 

Easy access to the internet has made this problem of good decision-making even more apparent. Why learn how to make high-quality decisions when Google has thousands of “experts” at your fingertips? Many of you may feel overwhelmed and looking for somebody else to make decisions for them.

A September 2021 Inc. magazine article reported that the average adult makes approximately 35,000 decisions per day. Surprising right? Everything from what you’ll eat for lunch today to whether or not you launch the project this week. Getting the important decisions right can change our careers, and sometimes even our lives.

It’s important to know that even the best make the wrong decisions. At the same time, there is much we can do to increase our odds of making high-quality decisions.  Here’s how!

Outcome > Ego

Those who make high-quality decisions take advantage of how the world works by choosing outcome over ego. They accept feedback and use it to change their behavior. Poor decision-makers make decisions based on how they think the world should work.  They ignore feedback and blame others for the consequences of the poor outcome.

Embrace feedback and steer the boat when it’s needed. Don’t be a victim of your ego!

Key Concepts for Making High-Quality Decisions

The following are eight key concepts that will lead you to high-quality decision making:

  1. The Map Can Change: Maps are only a representation of reality. Just like in business, the landscape can change. Trust your initial instincts, but verify and adapt when needed.
  2. Humble Yourself: When you rely on ego, you have blindspots. Know what you know and know what you don’t know.
  3. Thought Experiments: Lay out a problem mentally and think through all the potential consequences. When we can’t find evidence, thought experiments force us to confront questions we can’t answer easily.
  4. What’s Next?: Anyone can anticipate the immediate results of their actions. Far fewer can think further down the line. 
  5. Check Probabilities: Estimate the likelihood of specific outcomes from happening. Finding the most likely outcome is one of the best tools for making high-quality decisions.
  6. Invert the Situation: Sometimes it helps to turn things upside down. Instead of asking, “What’s the fastest path to getting this product to market?”, invert and ask, What are all the obstacles that could delay us getting this product to market?”
  7. Occam’s Razor: Occam’s Razor is the principle of simpler explanations are more likely to be true than complex ones. Begin with trying to prove a simple fact pattern.
  8. Hanlon’s Razor: Hanlon’s Razor is the principle of not blaming malice for things that can be explained by stupidity. Bad results are more often missed opportunities. The explanation most likely to be right is the one with the least amount of intent because people make mistakes.

Making high-quality decisions isn’t easy but it’s not impossible. If you use these eight concepts to guide your decision-making, you will be well on your way. 

About Us:

With over 90 years of logistic experience, Top Talent has been committed to “Finding people who make a difference” for its clients. To learn more about successful strategies for getting those impact players and game-changers on your team, reach out to us today.

– Michael Monson
Top Talent LLC
President and CEO