Decision making is the process of identifying and choosing alternative courses of action. While we want to make rational decisions, sometimes we don’t—sometimes we make non-rational decisions.
There are four steps in rational decision-making:
- Recognize and define the problem or opportunity. In business, the problem can come in the form of customer complaints, supplier breakdowns, staff turnover, sales decline, and so on. Organizations proactively seek opportunities to exceed goals, surpass the industry expectations, and to expand and grow the business.
- Identify and analyze alternative courses of action. Leaders should seek input from multiple sources to interpret and analyze the problem/opportunity to come up with as many options as possible to solve the issue.
- Choose a preferred course of action. The group want to answer the following:
- Is the action ethical?
- Is it feasible? (Costs, technology availability.)
- Is it effective? If your answer to this question is the resolution is “good enough,” you want to rethink this solution—it will cause more harm than good.
- Implement the preferred course of action. You need to the participation from all teams to successfully implement the action.
On the other hand, non-rational decisions are generally the result of either satisficing (going with the first available option without much research) or intuition (using your “gut” or just your own feelings to make decisions).
For this week’s discussion, think about a time when you made a non-rational decision on the job or in your personal life.