A 4-Step Process for Making Decisions and Assessing Opportunities

Do you find yourself having a hard time making decisions? Or, maybe you feel overwhelmed by all the opportunities out there and are unsure of which ones to take and which to walk away from?

Making decisions is a leader’s #1 priority and it’s your job to figure out which opportunities are the best for your organization. That’s a lot of pressure!

If you let those tough decisions get the best of you, there’s a good chance your decisions may not be in line with your organization’s mission, vision, and values. That is certainly not an effective way to lead.

Having a system or a strategy for making decisions, evaluating opportunities, and solving problems can be very helpful. At Diamond6, I use something called the “OODA Loop”, a concept created by Korean War fighter pilot, Colonel John Boyd. 

The “OODA Loop” stands for ObserveOrientDecide, and Act, and Colonel Boyd used this approach to train fighter pilots. After leaving the Air Force, he created a number of books and lectures to help organizations and companies apply the “OODA Loop” for their decision-making processes. 

Here is what the “OODA Loop” stands for: 

OBSERVE– What is happening in the environment? What is staying the same?  What is changing?

ORIENT– Focus on what is the most important thing or things that are happening in the environment and your organization.

DECIDE– Make decisions on those items.  Never forget that time is a resource that you must manage. Not making a decision is making a decision.

ACT– Take action and monitor these new efforts closely. 

You can use the “OODA Loop” for your own personal decision-making or throw it out to your team as a strategy for brainstorming solutions or making decisions. 

Observe, Orient, Decide, & Act!

Happy decision-making!