As explained in my last post, Yes/No Decision Making is often the norm in businesses and organizations. Here’s that process in a nutshell: when an interesting idea is presented by either an organizational insider or outsider, there is a tendency for the group to respond using the Yes/No decision making process. The consideration discussion may be brief or in-depth, but the process solely considers the adoption or rejection of the idea.

This article offers a more expansive, and perhaps even best practice approach, that I call the True Choice Decision Making Process.

Generating ideas and potential solutions is a creative process that should be encouraged in any business or organization. The following procedure facilitates a conscious and comprehensive assessment of all ideas presented beyond the “thinking out loud” stage.

Applying this procedure guides and informs “True Choice” that transcends the simple “Yes/No” process. Funneling ideas through these six steps helps manage an organization’s decisions by creating an efficient flow of direction and continuity.

Step One: IDENTIFY THE NEED

  • What need will be fulfilled by the adoption of this idea? (i.e. what problem will it solve?)
  • Clearly identify the need and put it into a succinct written statement.


Step Two:
BRAINSTORM

  • What other options or ideas could also satisfy the identified need?
  • Create a list of as many options or avenues as possible.


Step Three:
CONTINUITY

  • Will adopting this idea contradict any previous decisions?
  • Will adopting this idea fit within the current direction of the specific project and overall mission of the organization?
  • If the answer to question #2 is no, don’t dismiss the idea too quickly. If it involves a change in direction, consider it within that context. A separate meeting may be necessary for its consideration.
  • Are there any other continuity issues to consider while assessing this idea?


Step Four:
PRE-DECISION

  • With the information gathered in Steps 1 through 3, is there enough information and clarity to continue consideration of this idea?


Step Five
: TENTATIVE ADOPTION

  • If the previous four steps have been followed and the decision-makers feel the idea is indeed the best solution to the identified need or problem, the decision can be adopted tentatively.


Step Six:
DISCERNMENT PROCESS/ FINAL DECISION

  • In this final stage of deciding to adopt the original idea, the decision-makers can participate in whatever research or discussions they feel necessary to make an informed, conscious decision.
  • Simplifying aspects or adding addendums and other fine-tuning can produce the final optimal decision. The True Choice decision.

At any phase in this process it may become clear that the original idea is not the best way to address the identified need and that while the idea sounds appealing, it may be a distraction or diversion from the forward movement of the project or organization.

What decisions are facing you today, that can be funneled through this process?