how to solve a one way door decision vs two way door decision
26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909
But the best businesses know that fast decision making is critical for moving forward -- not getting stuck in the mundane quest of finding the perfect decision. Many people allow themselves to anguish in deciding any decision. Though, only the high-impact decisions that can have a big impact if made incorrectly. These high impact decisions (one way door decision) make up maybe 10% of all decisions.
The low impact ones (two way door decisions) can be made quickly with low impact. That's why it's important to have a high level of confidence in your choice before making a one-way door decision. Examples of a one way decision could be quitting a job, building a house (or data center), etc.
I was working for a Fortune 100 business known for its bureaucracy. I found that unfortunately, people were afraid of being wrong...making the wrong decision. And worse, this was a cultural issue. If a decision needed to be made of literally any consequence, it would be pushed up and up, until finally some executive would make the decision.
I was leading a major initiative across the business. Success of this initiative was paramount and the business considered this one of the top-5 most important programs. I was working with a vendor to source equipment (the only vendor for this particular product) -- the equipment was going to be about $80MM. Yes. A great deal of money. The challenge was that we needed to spend this (no way around it) and the price was going up in 4 months to $120MM ($40MM more). The CFO had decision making authority over this -- it was a no brainer. The positive impact to the business would be felt from this spend.
Well 6 months later, the decision was finally made to approve the cost. The $80MM did in fact increase to $120MM. And the business paid it. $40MM lost due to slow decision making.
A one way door decision is one that can't be undone or changed easily once made. These are typically about 10% of all decisions. They're usually final decisions with a lot of consequences, so it's important to be extra careful before making one. You want to be sure you have sufficient data to support the decision. And alternatives -- what are they in place of this? What if it doesn't go well after you've made the decision?
A two way door decision is one that can be undone and changed once made. This is about 90% of all of your decisions. You can read our article two way door quick decision making
Here are some tips for making sure you're confident in your decision before making a one-way door decision:
Making one-way door decisions can be difficult, but if you take the time to do your research, get input from others, and consider all the options, you can make a decision you're confident in.
If you have any questions, please contact Born Leadership.