How Can Executives Enhance their Decision-Making Skills?

How Can Executives Enhance their Decision-Making Skills?

In the quest to sharpen executive decision-making, we've gathered insights from seasoned business leaders, including a Management Consultant and a CEO. They share techniques ranging from implementing scenario-planning exercises to utilizing pre-mortem strategies. Here are the top four methods these professionals recommend for enhancing leadership skills in decision-making.

  • Implement Scenario-Planning Exercises
  • Adopt Decisive Daily Habits
  • Practice the 5-5-5 Rule
  • Utilize Pre-Mortem Strategy

Implement Scenario-Planning Exercises

One effective technique I used is implementing scenario-planning exercises—'What If?' By simulating various business scenarios, executives can refine their decision-making skills, anticipate challenges, and build confidence in their strategic choices, ultimately contributing to trust within the organization.

Bassam Nammour
Bassam NammourManagement Consultant, Meirc

Adopt Decisive Daily Habits

As a recruiter specializing in executive placements, I'm often acting as a coach to indecisive candidates. Wishy-washy behavior has no place in higher-level employment, and what looks like flexibility and careful analysis in lower roles can sink your C-suite potential quickly.

It's all about habits. That's why my recommendation is to take a week and stop considering. Really. Go with your gut instinct and never backtrack on a decision. If this means you pulled on an unmatching shirt and jacket in a rush—go with it, because even small choices should stick.

What you'll notice at the end of the week is that nothing fell apart and, likely, no one noticed that your outfit clashed. All that overthinking and second-guessing wasn't worth the time after all, and it didn't have a meaningful impact on your efficacy.

Travis Hann
Travis HannPartner, Pender & Howe

Practice the 5-5-5 Rule

At Startup House, we encourage executives to practice the '5-5-5 Rule'—take 5 minutes to gather information, 5 minutes to analyze options, and 5 minutes to make a decision. This technique helps streamline the decision-making process, prevent overthinking, and promote quick, effective choices. By implementing this rule, executives can improve their ability to make timely and informed decisions, ultimately leading to better outcomes for the company.

Alex Stasiak
Alex StasiakCEO & Founder, Startup House

Utilize Pre-Mortem Strategy

One technique that's been particularly effective is the "pre-mortem" strategy. It's about envisioning a future where the decision went wrong and then working backward. Executives analyze the failure to pinpoint potential pitfalls and biases before they make their choice. This approach shifts the mindset from predicting success to preventing failure, fostering more comprehensive decision-making. It's proactive, not reactive. It instills a culture of deep analysis and encourages executive leaders to look at decisions from multiple angles, drastically reducing the risk of oversight.

Casey Jones
Casey JonesFounder, Head of Marketing, CJ&CO

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