Create an environment where people think through problems or decisions on their own before seeking input, so that you can have a productive conversation which involves learning as well as decision-making.
It’s a busy day. You’ve double booked your calendar and have a couple of urgent matters to attend to. You also have a great idea you’ve just thought of and your brain spinning with the opportunity.
And then someone sticks their head in with a ‘quick question’: “should we advertise in the next issue of X? They have a deal on, and need a reply today”.
It would be so easy to just make a decision: yes or no. And then you can get on with your to-do list. In this scenario, I stopped myself. Instead I tell my colleague to come in, and we have a short chat where I ask some key questions:
- What would be the purpose?
- What’s the reach and expected outcome?
- What results would we be happy with?
- Are there any other ways we can accomplish the same thing?
- What’s the financial comparison on ROI for potential different channels?
- What are the risks if we don’t do it?
- What’s the time investment needed from the team to make this happen?
We chat, and she gives her recommendations, I agree, and she goes off to action it. Back to my to do list.
Take your time
I try to ensure that we create an environment where people think through problems or decisions on their own before seeking input, so that we can have a productive conversation which involves learning as well as decisions.
One step ahead
That being said, we are also operating on ‘entrepreneur timelines’. Quick decisions are paramount to make sure we benefit from being small and agile and can stay ahead of competition – that is a huge strength for us.
Build for the future
We just have to make sure we continue to build autonomy, responsibility and accountability in individuals so that we make the best out of every single person in the team.
Better decisions – use the brain power
There’s a high possibility that someone other than me will have more insight into the detail, see a different side of things and therefore make a better decision. And even if the decision is made as a team, sharing our opinions and views will help us to make the right decision.
About the author
Angela Spang is the founder, owner and managing director of London Medical Education Academy, which was founded on the belief that life-long continued surgical hands-on training is crucial for improved patient outcomes. Angela has a broad and long background in international business with medical device, having held internationally focused senior positions with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Allergan (AGN) and American Medical Systems with a strong focus on the importance of training.