Decision-making techniques to improve business outcomes


The ability to make the right decisions is vital in any business. Most of the time, a single wrong decision can result in massive financial losses, missed sales opportunities or some other kind of setback. Here are some tried and tested techniques from the Harvard Business School to help you to avoid these unpleasant outcomes. By following these tips, you will be able to make better and smarter decisions for your business.


Remember that decision-making is a process

It would be a very rare stroke of luck if someone could come up with a good business decision at the spur of the moment. Generally speaking, making the right decision is a process that involves several stages. You should avoid making any decision in a rush, if possible.

At the initial stage, you need to clearly identify the issue. Then, you should carefully consider what are the most important questions that need to be answered. The next stages involve the problem analysis, brainstorming for ideas and finally finding a solution. This solution, of course, should be beneficial to both your business and other parties involved.


Work with your team

In order to come up with the best decision for your business, you should consider different opinions by asking questions and rely on valuable input from your team. Even though usually only one person has the final say, it would be helpful to hear different points of view. This way, the team will be able to approach the matter from a completely different, but at the same time informed and well-rounded perspective. Different people may see things differently, so each team member will be able to contribute unique ideas. The team can then incorporate these ideas into a viable solution to the problem.


Cultivate a cooperative outlook

Regardless of the expertise and competences of each team member, it would be of no value if the team attitude was not based on cooperation and collaboration. It is up to the team leader to create a positive and inquisitive attitude in the team. With such an outlook, you will be able to arrive at the best decisions for your business.


Build and promote psychological safety

To ensure productive team collaboration, it is important that each member feels comfortable sharing their different views on an issue. In fact, research by the Google team has shown that psychological safety is one of the core components of any successful business team. Creating a safe and comfortable psychological environment for business discussion is not at all difficult. As a matter of fact, it is as simple as showing respect to each member of the team and giving due recognition to their contribution.


Stay focused on the business goal

Right from the start, you have to clearly identify the purpose of the decision. The final outcome you are working towards needs to be clearly communicated at the beginning of the decision-making process. Also, in order to keep everyone’s eyes on the goal, be sure to reiterate it several times throughout the process.



Becoming an expert in decision-making is not something that happens overnight. It takes practice and conscious effort. But if you follow these expert decision-making techniques, you will be able to see the results in no time.