CEO Checklist for Building a Culture of Decision Making


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1. Define your personal decision-making comfort level.

  • Is your leadership style one of empowering others to make sound decisions?
  • Or is your style stronger oversight – no budget spend or decisions move forward without your approval?
  • Are you comfortable with Data and how do you foresee big data based decisions being part of the overall decision culture?

2. Define the internal process for how your organization will make decisions?

  • Create a sandbox for non-critical decisions/more day to day tactical needs
  • Create the sandbox for very strategic decisions that could have major impact on the organization
  • Build a Business Case outline template (executive summary format) for decisions to be based on. Example:
    • How does this decision align with our company’s day-to-day priorities? Or long term strategic plan
    • Outline the direct and indirect costs associated with this decision
    • How will this decision impact others in the company? What roles will other members play?
    • Define the best timing for executing this decision. Explain why this recommended timing?
    • What are the success measures? Highlight the milestones that show success
    • What returns/benefits will this decision have on the organization
    • What are the risks associated with making this decision?
    • What is the opportunity loss should we not execute on this today?
    • How will you know when to cut and run?

3. Create, define and communicate your organization’s decision-making culture to all members of the organization.

  • Using a town hall forum to share this info guarantees all employees here the same information at the same time.
  • Create lunch and learn sessions with departmental managers to discuss the decision process for your company.

Note: your decision making culture may shift depending where you are in your growth process.

4. Plan “Decision Check-Ups” during your monthly or quarterly review meetings!

  • This is a decision report card of sorts:
    • How is the company doing?
    • How are the individuals that put forth ideas doing on their plans as they execute?
    • What is working, what is not working?
    • What returns is the company receiving?
    • How well did the business case actually live up to it’s promise?
    • How enrolled were other team members responsible for making the plan a success?

5. Celebrate successes and use failures as lessons for the entire company! Failures are the stepping-stones to great success.

Follow Teresa Spangler @composerspang or Plazabridge Group @plazabridge.Teresa often speaks on trends, disruptive technologies, innovation and adoption, leading through growth and uncertainty. She is the author of the Game of Life Book Series, a contributing author to OpenForum. Click to learn more about Plazabridge Group.

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