Join Britt Andreatta for an in-depth discussion in this video Making business decisions, part of Management Foundations (2013).
- Every day you'll be making business decisions, some of which can have major implications for your organization. Not every day has make it or break it moments, but collectively all of your choices either contribute to or detract from the success of your people and the organization. This is actually the exciting part of management, you get to have more responsibility. Along with it comes more influence as well. Decision making is the ability to identify and analyze information, draw conclusions, identify appropriate solutions, and choose a course of action.
It often requires you to take the initiative and also innovate new possibilities and opportunities. Managers who make good business decisions often have a few key things in common. First, they tend to be emotionally intelligent. Emotional intelligence is how effectively we manage ourselves, and our relationships. It's comprised of 20 competencies including self control, achievement drive, communication, and managing conflict. All skills that are needed to make successful decisions. I encourage you to watch my course called Leading with emotional intelligence to develop your skills in the 20 competencies.
Second, they actively develop their business acumen. All decisions are made within the context of the organization, so being able to accurately read and navigate the nuances of power in politics are key to successful decisions. Business acumen is also knowing the forces that shape your organization and industry, including trends, policies, technology, and people. Third, they actively seek opportunities to provide leadership. As you learned in the first chapter, management and leadership are two different skill sets. While you can keep your focus on the immediate demands of management, good business decisions often require looking forward.
Finally, managers who make good business decisions find the right balance between caution and taking risks. Sometimes good decisions are all about timing. You want to take enough time to gather good information and think through potential consequences, but not so long that you miss important opportunities. Unfortunately, there's no magic formula for how to do this, it's a judgement call that's completely contextual to your organization and the situation at hand. However, if you develop the skills and competencies we've covered in this video, you'll be armed with what you need to be successful.
Let's see how Adriana navigates a tricky business decision at Landon Hotel. Like any business, the property Adriana works at has financial highs and lows. During prime tourist seasons the hotel is busy, bringing in a lot of revenue. The hotel staffs up to meet the needs of the guests. During the leaner seasons, the hotel staff is reduced to save costs. In particular, the hotel manager Roberto has decided to reduce the meal service of the on-site restaurant to dinner only. This has caused a problem for Adriana, who runs the conference services area.
Conferences tend to get booked during the lean times, and her clients expect breakfast and lunch service as well as refreshment breaks. The reduced restaurant staff is struggling to meet her needs, often running late and doing a mediocre job. Adriana knows she needs to bring her concerns to Roberto, but she also knows that he'll need a lot of data and that it cannot be too costly. Adriana decides the best approach is to come to him with potential solutions, and provide ample data on the cost and benefits of each solution. She empowers her staff to research the issue, and think creatively.
And she sets a meeting with the head chef to discuss the ideas since the situation affects them both. Collectively they come up with three solutions. The first is to align the catering and dinner menus as well as redesign some dishes, so that food prep can be accomplished with the current staff. The second is to hire a part-time caterer on contract, and build that cost into the conference fees. And third, they can hire some interns from the local culinary school, getting extra help and providing students with professional development. Adriana made an appointment to meet with Roberto, bringing him a summary report detailing the costs of each option.
Roberto was pleased with her resourcefulness, and that her report was thorough and accurate. He approved all three options and empowered Adriana to make the final choice. She chose the interns, since it was the chef's first choice, and could potentially solve their staffing issues in the future. Like Adriana, you'll find yourself needing to make business decisions every day. By taking your time to assess the situation and think through potential consequences, you'll set yourself up for success. And by collaborating with others in your organization, you can harness their wisdom and gain their support.
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- Choosing a management style
- Hiring employees
- Coaching employees
- Managing team performance
- Establishing trust
- Motivating and engaging others
- Delegating responsibilities
- Avoiding micromanagement
- Managing remote employees
- Knowing HR regulations<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.