How do you decide
Seeking ways to make the right choice? Here's HOW.
A few days ago, I was chatting with a good friend about the role of values-based behavior, as a driver of business performance. His theory is that how we do things actually matters more than what we do, how fast we do it, or how efficiently it gets done. While everything matters, how matters more! As Augeo develops and operates large-scale employee recognition and reward programs, company values are a topic of great interest.
Dov Seidman wrote How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything back in 2007. His thinking from over a decade ago seems as relevant to business leaders as ever. In a connected world, moving at digital speed, every decision we make, public discussion we have, or action we take, affects others–often times, directly and profoundly. Today, responsibility and accountability are to be top of mind for most of us in business. We think about consequences, both intended and unintentional. We calculate net effect and we try to anticipate outcomes.
Vast data stacks, machine learning, and artificial intelligence all contribute to modern business decision making. In many respects, technology makes decision making easier because outcomes are more predictable. So much time, technology, and energy go into "making the right decision" that it is staggering. On balance, the evidenced-based decision-making process seems to be working for many critical business decisions. Across industries, access to better information and advanced processing is leading to better outcomes.
But what about the ethical choices we make each day that influence business performance? How we treat colleagues or fellow employees? The promises we make to customers about product quality or service levels? Our use of energy resources? Do we spend as much time and effort thinking about how we do things as we do about what we do?
There are a growing number of customers, employees, and leaders who are aligning around a values-driven mindset. They are choosing to navigate the challenges of situational decision making, with a sustainable mindset. What will be the long-term outcome? Will we be in a better place months, years, and even decades from now vs. the immediate gratification of short-term gain?
One of the stories my friend shared was about a CEO who set a course for his Fortune 500 company based on making values-based decisions vs. proceeding based on what would move quarterly earnings. In this case it worked and the company has prospered. At the time there was no certainty ,however, that values-based decision making would produce longterm results. He suggested if we take this course of action it "should" produce results. His conviction to values and confidence that results would follow took courage. With the values-based approach people felt good along the way because they were aligned on why certain decisions were made. If reaching sustainable success is among your goals, make values a part of your discussion.
About Dov Seidman
Named one of the "Top 60 Global Thinkers of the Last Decade" by The Economic Times and "the hottest advisor on the corporate virtue circuit" by Fortune Magazine, CEO, author and thought leader Dov Seidman has built a career, and pioneered an industry, around the idea that the most principled businesses are the most profitable and sustainable.