by Stephen Danos
Fast, informed decisions are the backbone of successful companies. The ideal speed of decision making is analogous to an 800-meter run, the controlled sprint where participants need to establish their position and pace once the starter pistol fires. Elite runners train rigorously to shave milliseconds off their time.
by Stephen Danos
How often do you make bad decisions? According to a McKinsey & Company survey, 72 percent of senior-level leaders believe that bad decisions are “about as frequent as good ones” — par for the course across their organization. As a company grows, apparently so does the potential cost of poor decision making.
At the enterprise level, these undesired outcomes tend to stem from problems caused by increased organizational complexity, murky accountability, and an overabundance of data that cause decision makers to suffer from analysis paralysis.
Getting on the path to better decision making starts with recognizing and addressing these challenges — often with the help of the right enterprise-grade work-execution tool.
by Stephen Danos
Today, business leaders have a lot to consider when making decisions: performance analytics and other data coming in from a multitude of sources, resource and budget run rates, and much more. The faster a leader can reach the best decisions based on the best intel, the faster teams can carry out strategies, provide competitive value, and delight customers.
Given the stakes, refining your decision-making process is well worth the effort, but to get the process right may require a few false starts and iterations. It will also help if your team can adopt an agile mindset, so they can take small steps in the right direction, giving you test-and-learn insights to make decision-making processes more efficient and swift.
While there’s no quick fix, here are five things leaders can do to speed up decision making — and how Smartsheet can set teams up for repeatable success.
by Stephen Danos on March 20, 2018
Executive dashboards are powerful business tools that can connect leaders to their entire organization through insightful data streams.
Embracing critical layers of visibility can make businesses more competitive by strengthening connections between C-level leaders, managers, individual contributors, and their stakeholders. In addition, company-wide visibility into key performance indicators (KPIs) and business critical information help connect employees to the company’s strategic vision. Executive dashboards deliver the right information from different departments, helping business leaders make the best decisions.
by Stephen Danos on May 2, 2018
Whatever your business, it’s probably true that competition for customers is becoming more intense. As customers have more and more options, business executives that want to drive success have to do many things to stay competitive. But there is one thing that has a greater impact than any other: Becoming customer obsessed.
CIOs, IT leaders, and other execs need to connect with customers, both internal and external, in order to learn their preferences. The Wall Street Journal’s Irving Wladawsky-Berger sums this up in a single sentence: “The customer experience, that is, making each of its clients feel special, is increasingly the key factor for a business to stand out from its competitors.”
This doesn’t mean that execs need to fill their days with customer calls. Indeed, there are other ways to connect with customers, from newsletters to advisory boards. That’s not to say leaders shouldn’t speak directly with external and internal customers when they can. If they carve out time for those conversations, they can hear first-hand examples of how their company’s products make a real-life impact — and gain priceless insights into where they’re falling short.
by Katy Beloof on January 26, 2018
To stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing business world, companies need to make better decisions faster. To do so, senior business leaders must rethink how their teams get work done.
A recent study by 451 Research takes an in-depth look at the changing nature of work, the limits of traditional tools, and how business leaders can adapt going forward. It proposes a new paradigm for work management that gives businesses the ability to balance structure and flexibility to gain a competitive edge.
Complex, Strategic Work Has Become Everyone’s Job
Business leaders and their teams are taking on complex work in unprecedented ways. Work that used to fall to specialists, analysts, and process experts is being decentralized and becoming the responsibility of everyone on the team. Business leaders are having to learn how to help their teams manage strategic work processes to achieve business outcomes.
So what does this decentralization of complex and specialist work look like on the ground?
Complex work is being decentralized across all departments and industries. And these aren’t small, one-off projects. Nearly half (46%) of the business leaders surveyed reported that it’s standard for them to supervise more than 200 distinct stages of a given project, and 75% report that it’s typical for more than 100 people to be involved over the duration of a project.
by Katy Beloof on April 3, 2018
Being a leader in an organization means that you get to make the calls on big decisions. But often executives are insulated from day-to-day operations, a distance which can compromise effective decision making. Without firsthand or detailed information about a situation, executive isolation leads to disconnected organizations, misalignment across teams, and flawed business decisions. So how can you be sure that you’re making the best possible decisions for your business?
The good news is there are simple strategies that curb isolation and help you get the perspective you need to make better decisions without slowing down. Here’s a look at three ways to get the information you need to make better-informed decisions.
by Katy Beloof on March 28, 2018
Businesses today need to move quickly to stay competitive. Yet disconnected information often slows down workers and costs organizations in terms of time and opportunity lost.
Workers spend 36% of their workday looking for and consolidating information. Much of the time, they still can’t find the information needed to do their best work quickly.
Information spread across email, chat, slide decks, docs, and spreadsheets is disconnected and isolated from the work that needs to be done. This often leads to data that’s inaccessible and out of date.
When workers are able to track down the data they need, they often spend a lot of time creating slide decks — and up to 87% of that time is spent on design, not on data.
Our infographic looks at the amount of time your organization wastes due to siloed information, and what you can do about it. Take a look:
by Katy Beloof on March 12, 2018
Is organizational complexity making it difficult for your teams to successfully accomplish projects on time and within budget? Multiple communication channels combined with cross-functional teamwork can cloud accountability and muddle decision-making authority, resulting in a lack of employee ownership in a project or process.
One solution to this lack of ownership and its effect on performance is “clear pressure”, a form of peer pressure based on the idea of giving employees real-time visibility into the progress of everyone’s work, so they can hold each other — and themselves — to a higher standard. But are the tools that provide visibility enough to create a culture of clear pressure? Or do leaders need to think more broadly about a solution?
by Katy Beloof on February 20, 2018
In order to stay competitive, business leaders must find new ways to make better decisions faster. A critical part of this is establishing visibility, or making sure the right people have access to the right information at the right time — in real time.
Businesses leaders need a way to free up employees to move swiftly and empower them with the information they need to execute. Leaders also need a way to see how day-to-day work is progressing, to keep their teams on track. At the same time, they need to ensure that high-level information is accurately and promptly communicated to the C-Suite, so they can more quickly make the critical decisions needed to move the business forward.
With these challenges in mind, here’s a look at the three layers of visibility organizations need to make better decisions faster, execute more quickly on new initiatives, and ultimately thrive in today’s competitive market.
Writers and Bloggers from Smartsheet.