1. Why are you making this decision?
2. Should you make this decision “solo” or involve others? If so, who else should participate?
3. Is this the right time to make the decision?
4. What would happen if you don’t make the decision now?
5. What would happen if the decision weren’t made at all?
6. What different options do you have?
7. Which of these options are others leaning toward?
8. Would creative “brainstorming” help you identify more options for making this decision?
9. Is this decision required because a previous decision didn’t work out? If so, why didn’t it work ?
10. Is this a defensive (“have to”) decision or an offensive (“want to”) decision?
11. What are the potential advantages and disadvantages of making the decision right away vs. waiting?
12. Who will be directly affected by this decision? Should they be included in the decision-making process?
13. Who will be held accountable for this decision?
14. To what extent are you relying on facts to make the decision versus “feels” (opinions, assumptions, biases, etc.)?
15. Who will benefit if the decision yields good results? Who will pay the price if the decision goes “sour”?
16. How accurately do you think you can predict the outcome of this decision? How important is the outcome?
17. How easily can this decision be reversed or modified if it fails to produce satisfactory results?
18. Who will “lose face” (be embarrassed) if this decision fails?
19. What will you do if this decision doesn’t work out?
20. How long will it take to gauge the success of the decision?
21. How will you know if the decision has been successful?
22. How long will you have to live with the results of this decision?
23. To what extent does the success of this decision hinge on how well it is implemented?
24. What are the keys to its successful implementation?
25. Do you wish someone else could make this decision for you?
Taking the time to work through these questions can help any team to clarify their direction and goals.
Phil Van Auken