How to Avoid Making Wrong Decisions

Decision making is undoubtedly an everyday reality, not because many people are masters of the art and science of what is takes to make quality decisions but because the very essence of life is an array of choices and an outcome of decisions.

In business, family life, politics, and every other area of life imaginable to the human mind, decision making is an unavoidable significant feature of its expression.

The business world has had its share of recorded history of the outcomes of wrong decisions. And in some measure the ripple effect of historical consequences of wrong decisions has infiltrated our consciousness today that by every method and effort, we all seek to avoid making wrong decisions.

Be that as it may, have you really paid attention to ponder on what exactly is a wrong decision?

What features constitute a wrong decision? And how can we identify the illusion that clouds itself as a right decision when entirely someone may be on the wrong path?

In the 1880s, George Eastman established Kodak. By the 1950s Kodak had the lion’s share of the US amateur film market. According to Dr. Kamal Munir, a Cambridge Business School Faculty member, “Kodak controlled almost 70% of the highly lucrative US film market.”

As interesting as that sounds, it could have gotten more interesting with Kodak still leading that market today because as early as 1975, Steve Sasson, a Kodak engineer invented the first digital camera.

That could likely have been the beginning of the infallible and uncompetitive rise of the Company but that was not the case.

In 1981, more attention began to veer towards the direction of digital cameras, but Kodak remained insistent on not making the move.

32 years later after the invention of digital cameras, Kodak was unrepentant of making a move and still spent their advertising budget on pushing their default focus which wasn’t much different since their inception as a company.

There are many reasons why Kodak, though it was their engineer who made the first breakthrough in inventing the digital camera, they had an eminent business failure. One significant tie to all reasons imaginable is decision making.

Decision Making Effects

Many times, as individuals and business professionals, we underrate how our decisions per time can have long term effects on our time, our resources and our outcomes.

Kodak had a long run of success, not just in its branding but also in its leadership of the film market yet eventually experienced an ultimate downturn that resulted in the company filing for bankruptcy in 2012.

Kodak is just one example of many other sad outcomes in the business world that are a result of a decision or series of decisions that did not turn out right.

As you ponder on this, do not be quick to forget that sometimes, the outcomes we experience are not totally a perfect representation of the decisions we make. This solidifies why I believe that winning and losing are only loose signals of decision quality.

If that be that case, you may wonder, how then can we rightly measure options and decisions to weigh if we are making a right or wrong decision per time?

Here are my tips I believe can help with that for your personal and business growth and success:

  1. Objectivity:

    Objectivity is not only the ability to be open to decision-options, it is also having the ability to be open to change. On a scale of 1 to 10, how well are you open to change? What proof do you have of your ability to be open to change?

    When change is uncomfortable but a necessary step to be taken after due research and proper evaluation of your options, how responsive are you to be objective to change? This is a significant step in guiding your decisions so you stand a higher chance to avoid making a wrong decision.

  2. Accuracy:

    Perfection is a feat somewhat feared because it is the singular reason many ideas have not seen the light of day and why many businesses avoid change and high level objectivity.

    Accuracy may seem like a close relative of perfection but in its true essence it is the consciousness that enhances effort towards paying attention to details, focusing on improvement and prioritizing objectivity. When was the last time you paid full attention to the concept of details, improvement and objectivity before making a decision in your personal life, business or organization?

    These three things, details, improvement and objectivity are what aid focus and dynamism for due research and proper evaluation. And every decision aimed at yielding a desired outcome must undergo these three things. By so doing, you will not be bogged down in worry and fear because of the need for perfection, instead you will be in a better position to make the right decisions.

Are there more tips I believe can help you avoid making wrong decisions? Yes there are, and I will surely write about them in subsequent posts or speak in further detail in a podcast episode, but for today I need you to take action.

Where are you in your decision making process and mindfulness?

What is your level of objectivity? And do you pay significant attention to the concept of details, improvement and objectivity for due research and decision-options evaluation?

A steady run of personal and business growth and success does not guarantee a lasting run of such growth and success. You therefore need to create scheduled periods to review your growth, your decision-options and your decisions.

Again, winning and losing are only loose signals of decision quality but they are indications of what you can and should review, improve and adjust.