To Decide is to Kill the Other Option

John Gietzel Strategy Leave a Comment

The word decision or decide literally means “to cut off” in other words, to “kill” the other options.

Choices and decisions are a ubiquitous underpinning of modern life. We make somewhere between 70 – 35,000 decisions per day depending on what you consider a decision. For example, what you eat for breakfast may be less of a decision and more of a habit. Decisions take energy. Decision fatigue is a well-understood phenomenon that can lead to poor outcomes.

Decisions can be hard. Life altering even.

What about business decision making? In business people throughout the company are making decisions daily. Leadership is counted on to make optimal decisions. These decisions are often made under uncertainty, without full information. Great strategic planning will help you make better decisions faster and easier.

“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” —John C. Maxwell

Every business must deal with finite time and resources. Effective decision-making is mission critical to the health of the business. This is important because all too often, leaders don’t WANT to “kill off” the other options. But they must. Trying to “do everything” often exacerbates bottlenecks, creates sub-optimal results and potentially risks quality due to the lack of focus. The upside is that everyone “looks busy.”

Strategic planning is critical to support a fast and effective decision-making process. When your plan is clear and well communicated, decision making becomes easier. This is because you can compare back to your vision and path to realize that vision. For example, does a new unplanned option align to one of your Big Goals? Does it support one of your Action Steps? If not, it can be eliminated immediately. If yes, then either it needs to wait until it is time for plan revision, or it needs to be considered for priority versus the other Action Steps that are already planned for and underway.

In the “Law of 3’s™” strategic planning method, your company will have up to 3 “Big Goals” – typically broad, long-term qualitative areas of focus. Each Big Goal can have up to 3, but not more, “Step Goals” – quantitative, measurable statements with outcomes that directly relate to the Big Goal. They are achievable within approximately 1 year. Finally, each Step Goal can have up to (again – up to but not more!) than 3 “Actions.” Actions are specific, functional level projects or tasks that will help to achieve the related Step Goal.

Learn more about inVision’s approach to Strategy here.

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