While a leader’s years of experience may be invaluable, companies should not make decisions based on instinct alone. We are human and biases can influence the judgement of even the most “objective” leader. In today’s information world it is important to pair real-time data with analytical skills in order to arrive at the best decision.
Leaders should establish criteria for evaluating growth options in order to measure each idea against the same benchmark. This will make it easier to compare opportunities against each other and to the company’s ideal opportunity. Establishing criteria for an ideal opportunity is important because if ten equally bad opportunities are compared against one another they might not seem so bad, but if these opportunities are measured against an ideal criteria, the downsides will become evident.
Leaders should determine four to six criteria that are most important to their ideal growth opportunity and develop metrics for each criteria. This should be clearly communicated with the rest of the team so that everyone is aware of how opportunities will be measured and scored. Try defining even subjective criteria like “culture.” For example, metrics used to define culture could include high employee retention, or a management team with over 10 years’ experience.
Evaluating options using criteria gives leaders the confidence to say “no” to bad opportunities and “yes” to good ones because these decisions are backed by data. There is no need to spend a long time agonizing over whether or not you made the right decision or if any information has been overlooked. If an opportunity matches a company’s criteria, go for it, if it doesn’t move on.
Relying on yesterday’s strategy in today’s market can lead a company down a dangerous path to ruin at worst or mediocrity at best. Instead leaders who want to be successful should follow the tips above to spark innovation and accelerate their company’s growth.
This post is part of a series exploring 5 Ways to Rethink Your Approach to Strategic Growth. Read the full series: