Making Big Decisions

Image: woman pondering decisions, surrounded by question marks

by Catherine Marshall

December 2018 Presentation at Coast Women in Business

When we come to a fork in the road, what do we do? Toss a coin? Consult a guru? Trust our gut? Whether expanding a business, hiring a first employee, or thinking about retiring, we’d like to believe we’re thoughtful with our decision-making.

This workshop was inspired by the book, “Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions that Matter the Most,” by Steven Johnson.

Major Decision in the Past

Think about a major decision you’ve made. What did you learn from the experience?

Could there have been other options you didn’t consider at the time?

Decision You’re Currently Considering

Think about a decision you’re currently considering. Is it like a fork in the road: either this way or that?

Work with a partner and brainstorm as many options as you can in the time allotted. Try not to vet them just yet.

Imagine Future Results

Imagine yourself in the future, months from now. You’ve made your decision, put your plan in action, and failed. Why?

Tease out all the ways in which your plan went wrong.

Complex Decisions

Complex decisions involve three steps:

  • Build an accurate, full-spectrum map of the variables, options, and paths
  • Make predictions about where those paths will lead
  • Reach a decision by weighing possible outcomes against your objectives

About the Presenter

Catherine Marshall, nonprofit consultant, helps nonprofits achieve their missions, which often involves helping them make good decisions. Her book, “Field Building: Your Blueprint for Creating an Effective and Powerful Social Movement,” is available at independent and online booksellers. Catherine is a Senior Certified Consultant with Fundraising the SMART Way and a Certified Affiliate Consultant of the One Page Business Plan. You can reach her at Capbuilders.

About Coast Women in Business

Coast Women in Business supports the business community on the Mendocino coast. We meet monthly to foster entrepreneurship and professional development on the Mendocino Coast and beyond. Membership fees are $50 annually or $10 per drop-in meeting.

Note: We welcome all – all races, all genders, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations.

Your first meeting is always free, and we offer a limited number of need-based memberships—please inquire. We’re sponsored by the Women’s Business Center at the West Business Development Center. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

Please contact us with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

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