Saturday, 2 November 2019


Can Good Business Decisions Have Negative Consequences?

Decision making, according to BusinessDictionary, is the thought process of selecting a logical choice from the available options. Business owners make important decisions every day…who to hire or fire, setting prices, selecting vendors, and more. Some decisions sound wise when they’re made but turn out to have unintended negative consequences.

How can you prevent this from happening?

The problem

Take the case of Walmart and the termination of all of its “people greeters” in April of this year. The decision to end this position in more than 1,000 Walmart stores was likely done to save money (Walmart said the reason is increased retail competition). Fair enough.

The solution

My suggestions:
  • Use a decision-making model to systematize the processYou can find 5 models here. All models require you to do analysis, which means you must gather the facts and then assess them.
  • Take your time (assuming it’s not an emergency situation). This will give you time for reflection on the decision before you implement it.
  • Get feedback. If you’re the primary or sole decision maker, your vision may be biased or uninformed. Have others weigh in to help you see the bigger picture.
  • Document everything. Keep notes of who, what, where, when, and why you made the decision. This can be helpful in case there is push-back. For example, say you make the decision to fire an employee who then sues you for discrimination or wrongful termination. Having the notes on the employee’s conduct, warnings to the employee, etc., can be helpful in having a good resolution to the lawsuit.

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