I was out last night at Stuart Ross’s High Growth event, part of which was a hot seat masterminding session, where each of us shared a business problem and our group brainstormed ideas using our collective experience.
A chap in my group had a big decision to make.
He had to decide whether to keep funding a business development operation in the US, pull out of the US and instead develop new UK products, or pursue an opportunity in Europe. The decision had been going round in his head for weeks and he was no closer to deciding what to do.
So I told him about a really powerful decision making tool that I learnt from one of my heroes Tony Robbins. It’s something I use regularly because it works so well, especially as most business decisions have a significant financial impact.
Make all important decisions on paper
The first principle is that all important decisions must be made on paper, NOT in your head. Decisions in our head just loop and get muddier. And big decisions can end up not getting made at all – so nothing happens.
There’s a simple structure you can follow that will help you to make the best decision possible. Well worth doing when the decision is a big one.
O – Outcome
Be very clear what you want your outcome to be – so many people try to make difficult decisions without even knowing what they want the outcome to be, or the outcome gets lost in the endless musing in our heads.
O – Options
Write down ALL of your options. If you think you only have one option then you have no choice, 2 options is just a dilemma, keep brainstorming until you come up with at least 3. There are always more options than you think, and doing this process helps you to be creative and come up with angles you may not have seen before. Write down all of your options, even if you don’t like them at this stage (something interesting may come out of them)
C – Consequences
What are the upsides and downsides of each option? What are the likely costs and implications?
E – Evaluate
Evaluate your options and consequences – weigh up the likelihood of each thing happening. What options can you now eliminate?
M – Mitigate
Look at the downsides of your remaining options – brainstorm ways to reduce or get rid of them.
R – Resolve
Based on everything you’ve just done choose the best option and resolve to make that decision happen. This means not flip-flopping between all the options, but choosing the best fit and just getting on with it. Decide how you’re going to implement the decision then JFDI!
Try it the next time you’ve got a big decision to make, I promise it will make it a whole load easier.