Aside

Decision-making done right

THE MISSION:
Our mission, should you decide to accept it, is to read this article and think of your own ‘mission impossible’ task of making decisions at your company. You should then comment, and post your memories and experiences.
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THE CAST:
Company X Board Room, Bay Area, California: GM of the division, head of product marketing, head of north america sales, 2 product manager leads, and a retail sales / channel manager from sales.
THE CHALLENGE:
Can a high-tech group decide whether to enter a particular market? It sounds compelling as a line extension, the growth is ‘high’ and the boat is leaving the dock are all arguments that have been made over time. The conversation keeps coming back around over the years. The clear-headed new head of product marketing said let’s get an unbiased, data-focused perspective from Rubicon.
THE CONSULTANTS:
No suits. Objective. Clear. They’ve analyze NPD data, done competitive product testing, gathered customer feedback, talked to everyone they could find. And they’ve figured out how (not) big the market really is. They give their answer: No. Or at least, not now.
NEXT, the cast must make a clear decision or keep deliberating it endlessly.
Starting with the sales advocate, reasons why it doesn’t make sense, reasons why it does. Sales: it doesn’t match our customer expectation of us. Product Marketers: it would take more money to message than what we have. GM: the revenue stream is too low for the initial investment. And around they go. Discussion. Deliberation. Contemplation. And then a stillness. Clarity (light rises in the boardroom).
THE DECISION:
We won’t pursue it. It doesn’t make sense right now, but let’s keep listening until we hear something specific change that warrants a business case review. But now we know what we’re looking for.
SUBPLOT:
Consultant sits impressed. Seriously, I’ve never seen a team do this kind of decision-making so well. And I’ve been a lot of places. They were clear, they were forthright, they were informed, they were practical and they heard each other out. Their stockholders couldn’t ask for more. I was so impressed, I wanted a video of the meeting so I could show others how to do it.
This article will self-destruct in five seconds.

0 Responses:

  1. Marsha. March 30, 2006 at 11:13 pm  |  

    Hmmm, reminds me of the time the management team at a retail company decided to go uplevel. Going after increased revenue. The “downmarket” stuff? Dumped. Without asking the customer base. Result? No Jockey shorts but plenty of Donna Karan. Those research and customer messaging pieces – priceless.

    Reply

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