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The Innovator’s Guide To Fearless Decision-Making

Making decisions is never easy. Decisions inevitably have to be made based on imperfect information, especially the toughest decisions. One wrong decision is sometimes enough to kill a start-up.

Here are 7 keys to bold decision-making from Katherine Von Jan (Founder & CEO, RadMatter):

  1. Seek diverse advice – Be honest that you are in exploration mode, and talk to every kind of stakeholder related to your quest. Customers, users, subject matter experts, investors, successful entrepreneurs, failed entrepreneurs, authors, journalists, bartenders. Ask and listen, and always give them something appropriate in return.
  2. Find the patterns in the fodder – Take your ego out of it, and let the most important threads emerge. Do it alone, do it with others. Just don’t try to find answers – because you still might not be asking the right question. Notice what is there.
  3. Frame the question – Figure out exactly what you need to know, and what the implications are. What would you do if you had the answer to the question? (Is it worth answering this at all?) Test this with your team.
  4. Ask experts for a reality check – Figure out who the top 3 people are you’d like to have answer the question. If you can’t get those people, try finding others with a similar DNA. Share your question, the implications, and any of the answers that seemed to emerge already.
  5. Trust your gut – You know the answer even if you don’t want to admit it. Write down your decision as if it doesn’t matter. (It’s like hitting save instead of send on that email you wrote in haste.)
  6. Practice communicating your decision. Imagine you are talking to your customers and your team – your ultimate stakeholders. Share your decision in 50 emotions. Say it with sadness, joy, fear, anger, delight… Does it feel authentic? Say it so many ways, that the only thing you feel at the end is confident that no matter how you say it, it’s right.
  7. Implement your decision – Own your success and your failure. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, because the only mistake you can make is not actually making a decision.

To see the article in its entirety, click here: The Innovator’s Guide To Fearless Decision-Making

This article was originally published on Women 2.0

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