Instead of using “gut feel” or other haphazard means, Lyndsay Swinton (Management for the Rest of Us, www.mftrou.com) suggests using Kurt Lewin’s Force Field Analysis as simple yet effective method to improve your decision making ability.
The secret of good decision-making is figuring out whether the pros outweigh the cons before taking action. With force field analysis, you list and score the factors for and against a decision, total the scores and see which comes up best.
Step 1: Write a simple statement of what needs to be decided. Make a list of the pros and a second list of cons. Include intangible or emotional factors as ignoring these can undermine your decision.
Step 2: Give each factor a score of between 1 and 5, where 1 is low and 5 is high.
Step 3: Add the numbers and the higher score “wins.” However, before implementing the decision, make an assessment of the result and be sure that less important factors are not outweighing more important ones and that the scores are realistic.
Step 4: It may be possible to increase the For score and decrease the Against score by identifying an appropriate action. Could a communication plan address concerns about resistance to change? Could additional training or additional resources increase the likelihood of a successful change? Review the factors and decide what actions could be taken to address or enhance any challenges.
Go through each factor, assuming the action has been successful, and write down the new score. Again, is the result as expected?
By now your decision is clear. Although you might not like the outcome, you can be confident that your decision is sound, transparent, and explainable.