Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Four Steps to Reduce Poor Executive Decisions

In a guest post for Great Leadership, Sydney Finkelstein, a Professor of Strategy and Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, outlines four steps "to reduce our vulnerabilities to making bad decisions."

This is a must read article for executives. It has relevant examples from well recognized businesses.


Sydney is also the co-author of Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep it From Happening to You (Harvard Business School Press, 2009)

Here are his four suggested steps, but do read the article in its full context.

  1. Make sure you’ve got lots of data sources, internal and external, that can enhance our ability to assess what is really going on.

  2. Make sure you’ve got the right people around the table. Not just talent, but people who are unafraid to push back and challenge.

  3. Make sure you are monitoring any important decisions in real-time, ready to step in and make adjustments before the momentum becomes too great.

  4. Make sure to create a robust governance system, perhaps the hardest challenge of all because this really means that the board of directors is active, vigilant, and strong. A tall order to be sure.

Leaders often engage executive coaching to generate even better decisions. It's at the heart of moving forward important companies, causes, projects, programs and priorities. There is probably not a client I have worked with over the years that hasn't sought to adjust and improve their approach to good decision-making.

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