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How to Make GREAT Decisions

By Chuck Cusumano and Jillian Broaddus

In his best-selling book, Blink, Malcom Gladwell introduces us to the concept of ‘thin-slicing’: the ability to use limited information to make accurate and quick decisions. Gladwell goes on to make the argument that some decisions are better made in the conscious mind and some with the subconscious mind. Too much data clouds the decision-making process in many cases.

We have more information available to us now than in any time in human history, so why are we not making the best decision ever? According to Hubspot’s 2020 State of Marketing Report, Google receives approximately 70,000 searches per second – that’s 5.8 billion searches per day and two trillion global searches per year. We do not lack information; what we lack is the ability to ignore irrelevant information and to equip ourselves with the ability to make GREAT decisions.

So, what information should we consider and what information should we ignore? First, ask yourself: Are you looking for more information because you are delaying the decision? Many times, we keep looking for additional data because we are procrastinating, or we are searching for data that supports what we already believe.

Here are our best tips to combat these innate biases and make your best decisions ever with the information at your fingertips:

  1. Define the timeline for the decision to be made. Then gather the information you can in the time you have.

  2. Always look for data that contradicts and supports your hypothesis. Beware of the conformation bias (blog link) tendency in decision-making.

  3. Make sure you are using a ‘process-based’ decision making system, not an ‘outcome-based’ system. In other words, focus on intentions over upshot. (Read more on this here)

What we really need is not more data, but better processes to evaluate the data we have! Be courageous and make the best decision you can with the information you can get! And, at the end of the day, whatever decision you make will be the right one – More on that on our next blog!

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