By - Sandi Webster

A Systematic Approach to Decision-making

As a CEO, I follow a systematic approach to ensure the best outcomes when making important decisions. Here are the steps I typically take:


  1. Define the problem: I start by clearly understanding the problem or challenge. Understanding the problem involves gathering all relevant information and identifying the key factors to consider. Sometimes quite a bit of research has to be done; it’s not as cut and dry as it seems. It’s essential to get this decision right.
  1. Analyze options: Once the problem is defined, I explore potential solutions or alternatives. I evaluate the pros and cons of each option, considering factors such as feasibility, cost, impact, and alignment with the company’s goals and values. I also think about the people involved and the impact the decision will have on them.

Don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis. I know people who analyze an issue to death when they could have moved on to the next phase. When I get stuck, I reach out to others to help me see a perspective I’m not seeing.

  1. Gather input: I believe in the power of collaboration and seek input from key stakeholders, including team members, experts, and advisors. Their perspectives and expertise help me comprehensively understand the situation and consider different viewpoints.

However, I do understand that the decision will be mine. The company will have to live with the decision I make. You can get stuck waiting on a particular person to give input. Give them a date and time and unless that person is critical to the project, move on without them if they don’t get back to you.

  1. Evaluate risks: I carefully assess the risks associated with each option. Assessment involves considering potential challenges, uncertainties, and potential negative consequences. I weigh these risks and penalties against each option’s potential rewards and benefits.

I do a few run-throughs of “if I do x, y will happen.” I always try to go with the decision where the benefits and rewards outweigh not moving ahead.

  1. Make a decision: Based on the analysis, input, and risk evaluation, I make a well-informed decision. I consider both short-term and long-term implications and the potential impact on various stakeholders, including employees, customers, and shareholders.
  2. Communicate and implement: Once I make a decision, I communicate it clearly and effectively to the relevant parties. I ensure that everyone understands the rationale behind the decision and any necessary steps for implementation. I also provide support and guidance to the team throughout the implementation process.
  3. Monitor and evaluate: After I implement the decision, I closely monitor its progress and evaluate its effectiveness. I gather feedback, measure outcomes, and make adjustments if necessary. Continuous evaluation and learning help me refine my decisionmaking process for future challenges.


I strive to make informed and effective decisions that drive the organization’s success by following these steps. I used to think of skipping steps; however, I realized I didn’t cut them – I just processed them quickly. Instead of spending five minutes, it might take only five seconds because the issue was resolved and didn’t require any thought.