ASK ALAN: How to Make the BEST Business Decisions
We are being faced with making more decisions for our business, than ever before. But, how do we make the very “best” decisions?“No sensible decision can be made without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.”
— Isaac Asimov, American writer and professor of biochemistry
With all that is happening in the world today, making the very “best” decisions for your business has become increasingly difficult.
Overwhelmed by choices
To put things into perspective, in 1996, there were only five-hundred thousand consumer products to choose from. Today, there are more than twenty-nine million! I recognize that certain product purchases are important. However, the decisions I am talking about here are other types, that could have a lasting material impact on your business.
How can I arrive at the best decisions for my business?
So, I sought out an expert in business decision-making, Peter Lorange, founder, chairman and CEO of Lorange Network Investment.
He said, “while there are lots of ways to arrive at a decision, I believe that ‘brainstorming’ with a group of people is the best way to do it.” And you can meet with people in-person or online using Zoom or any other virtual meeting platform.
Lorange’s seven brainstorming steps. To make the very best business decisions.
- “Defer judgement.”
You never know where a good idea is going to come from. So, make everyone feel like they can share an idea on their mind. Then, encourage others to build on it.
2. “Encourage wild ideas.”
Wild ideas can often give rise to creative leaps. In thinking about ideas that are wacky or out there, we should consider what we really want without the constraints of cost, technology, or materials.
3. “Build on the ideas of others.”
Being positive and building on the ideas of others takes skill. In conversations, try using “and” instead of “but.”
4. “Stay focused on the topic.”
Try to keep the discussion about the decision you are seeking help with, on target. Otherwise, it is too easy to go on tangents outside the scope of what you are trying to decide.
5. “One conversation at a time.”
You want to be able to extract the most valuable information from your group discussion. So, make sure everyone is paying full attention to whoever is sharing a new idea.
6. “Be visual.”
In brainstorming, it is best to write down or, better yet, draw ideas on Post-Its, then put them on a wall. Nothing gets an idea across faster than drawing it. And being a “Rembrandt” does not matter.
7. “Go for quantity.”
It is important to get as many new ideas as possible. A good session can produce up to a hundred ideas in an hour. Crank the ideas out quickly and build on the best ones.
After brainstorming, make your decision