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Decision making involves thoughtfully considering plausible options and then reaching a conclusive judgment on which option, if any, to adopt. When groups are asked to make decisions on a course of action, they seek to create a consensus, which means, at least, that each of the participants can “live with” the selected option.

VIS-IT Techniques stimulate and accelerate group decision making in the following ways:

  • Focus thinking with explicit “Focus Questions” that get at What, When, Where, Who, How, and Why.
  • Use highly visual tools, involving meaningful colors and shapes, to energize, reinforce and organize ideas.
  • Capture and build a comprehensive group memory.
  • Generate decisions and commitments.
  • Facilitate communication and follow-up.

For decision-making, the first question to consider is: “What are the success factors that will serve to measure the “goodness,” or quality, of the decision we make?” In other words: how will we know the decision was a good one? To answer that question, we need to know the goals and objectives of the decision. Asked another way: What do we expect to see – and how much of it – if the decision achieves our aims?

Knowing the objectives of the decision in advance, when they are expressed as quantifiably as possible, allows the group to establish appropriate limits to the level of financial and non-financial resources that can be associated with each option. The group can suggest additional decision criteria based on the values, culture, and strategic vision of the organization. Thus, the second question for the group to consider is: “What are the decision criteria and limits against which each decision option will be evaluated?”

When the objectives of the decision are known, as well as the decision evaluation criteria, then the group, working together or in sub-groups, begins to develop and articulate distinct strategic and operational options, or specific “plans,” for achieving the desired objectives. Each plan (i.e., option) should be given a distinctive name.

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