It is the end of the year so we thought we should point out three of the most common yet most harmful practices in decision-making in business that you should keep in mind – especially if you are looking to make plans for 2017 over the coming months.
1. Casual Benchmarking: People tend to copy the most visible, and obvious business practices of a competitive organisation without understanding the underlying purpose behind it. Few companies undertake the research and analysis to have a thorough understanding of the reasoning behind a strategy – is it the best strategy to improve your organisation’s performance? What would the possible downsides be? And how could you do it more effectively?
2. Doing what has worked in the past: Be careful to understand exactly why a strategy was successful previously. Is it relevant to the issue at hand, and is this strategy the best practice to resolve the current situation? Be aware not to confuse success in spite of an action as opposed to success because of an action.
3. Following deeply held but unproven beliefs: This happens when management believes something will work or that it matches some assumptions that are held about what makes organisations successful. These assumptions or beliefs will resist change and affect judgements and choices, regardless of whether or not they are true. Check whether your decisions are relying on intuition, personal or group beliefs or influencers who may have other agendas in play.
Avoiding these pitfalls can lead to competitive advantage and clear direction setting in the most difficult of times.