Three Ways to Make Good Decisions as a TeamThe best business decisions are often made with input from others, but even the best leaders sometimes struggle with making good decisions in a team environment.

Les McKeown, president and CEO of Predictable Success and a frequent contributor, discusses how to be more successful in team-based decision making.

Teams that operate at a high level do three things very well that ensures they keep making decisions efficiently and confidently.

Three Ways to Make Good Decisions as a Team


High-performing teams start with data, says McKeown.

“Not anecdote, not pain points, not speculation, not opinion — data. Once something gets on the agenda, the only place to start is with consideration of hard data.”

When making strategic decisions about the structure of your organization or looking for new product or service opportunities, it’s important that clear, concise data leads any discussion.

It keeps team-based decision-making focused on moving quickly and efficiently from task to task.


Once the data has been presented, structured debate and discussion encourages a team of colleagues or senior executives to focus on the data and only the data, thoughtfully considering how the organization will be impacted.

For McKeown, it is important that high-performing teams debate the underlying data on its own merit, “dispassionately, objectively, and with only the good of the enterprise at heart.”

Team-based decision-making can be brought to a halt when executives allow personal biases and emotion to get the better of them while considering potential business changes. By carefully setting the rules of discussion to only consider the data before them, leaders can make decisions that support business goals for the organization.

Decide or Defer

Too often, executive teams get stuck when it’s time to make a decision. The data has been presented, analyzed, and discussed – but nothing is resolved.

McKeown encourage leaders and their teams to put hard deadlines on any discussions, to ensure that decisions are actually made.

His simple tip: “Agree in advance on the precise time at which the decision will be made. If you’re starting the discussion at 10 am, agree in advance to move to a decision at 10:45 am.”

It’s a powerful technique that brings discussion to a conclusion, and outlines specific action items.

He notes that if a decision can not be made after time expires, an important data point may be missing. Encourage teams to deter making a decision until that needed information is available to them.