Amazon bases its success not on a reactionary approach of detecting market trends but by leveraging fast decision-making cycles to create such trends in the first place. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stressed the importance of quick decision making in a letter to his annual shareholders in 2017. “Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you’re probably being slow. Plus, either way, you need to be good at quickly recognizing and correcting bad decisions. If you’re good at course correcting, being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure.”
Companies that are slow to make decisions tend to be reactive and don’t shape the industries they are in. Companies that make high quality decisions very quickly are able to disrupt and innovate. So how do you speed up decision-making without impacting quality? By leveraging data and following a systemic and systematic process. Here are four steps you can follow:
Ensure you have a proper data strategy
A data strategy is a company’s approach to improve the way organization’s acquire, store, govern, share and apply data. This allows you to leverage data as an asset for quick decision making, while avoiding incorrect or incomplete data.
Follow a systematic process for decision-making
A systematic decision-making process helps you address the key steps for a good decision, and helps you avoid pitfalls for poor decisions.
Ensure you have data literate workforce
Making sense of data is necessary in order to drive decisions. You must be able to understand the data and leverage analytics to provide context from your data and turn it to knowledge and wisdom. Ensuring that your workforce is data literate will accelerate this process from data to wisdom and will minimize the risk of making poor decisions with your data.
Fail Fast, Fix Fast
Once you make your decision, it is important to assess the outcomes and either adjust accordingly or combine this with your previous experiences to help you with future decisions. Companies that can course correct their less than optimal decisions by failing fast, then fixing fast, and then learning from them are the ones that will succeed in today’s business climate. This is an imperative for a company that fosters continuous learning and innovation.