Art: Lea Heinrich
For well over 200 years humans have used tables to help make decisions. Charles Darwin even used a two-column table with the headings Marry and Not Marry to decide the pros and cons for one of his most important personal decisions. (He married.)
Even though the two-column Pro and Con list is still one of the most widely used decision aids there are three additional simple tools that you can use as a consultant or business leader.
In the 1980's a business professor named Paul Nutt tracked decisions, how they were made, and their results. (The business people scored their own decisions for win or lose.)
Professor Nutt found overwhelmingly “a strong correlation between the number of alternatives and the ultimate success of the decision itself.”
Two additional findings on decision making are that homogeneous groups are too quick to come to a decision and have lower success rates than a diverse group of “experienced” people. (This has been backed up by many research findings.) The other is that decisions are more successful using a weighted-decision table that compares factors such as Cost, Value, Timelines, Impact, etc. Use the table and weights as a discussion piece for the diverse decision team.