This sounds like some kind of crazy health product that you’d find advertised on late-night TV. Maybe it reminds you of Vitameatavegamin from “I Love Lucy.” MegaVim! Mega–lots (literally a million). Vim–vigor. Lots of vitality!
Actually, it’s an acronym to help you remember the seven steps that an effective decision maker uses. And, yes, these steps will give you extra energy in your life and business.
Here they are.
- Make it happen!
Let’s look at these one at a time:
Step 1. Mission: Discover the decisions you need to make.
Find your great decisions rather than being jerked around by what other people think is important. Think about your dissatisfactions, opportunities and goals. Then write a decision question about what you will do about them.
Step 2. End-time: Set a deadline to act.
You especially need to do this when nobody else is bugging you for an answer. Otherwise you get stuck in the paralysis of analysis. “I can’t make a decision yet. I don’t have all the information.” And you probably won’t. Make a promise to yourself that at some date or time you will make a decision with whatever information you have. Use your deadline to decide how deeply you want to dig into each of the other steps.
Step 3. Goals: Identify your full range of objectives.
What’s important to you? What are you trying to accomplish? What are you trying to avoid? List everything you can think of, without judgment. Then force yourself to add several more items.
Step 4. Alternatives: Identify your full range of options.
People often think of decisions being yes-no, go or no-go, but you almost always have more than two options. Here’s where you open your mind to divergent thinking. Imagine all the possibilities, without rejecting any of them just yet. Think of all you can, than think of some more. Immediately you’ll want to reject some of these. You’ll get a chance to do that later. Right now open your mind to the possibilities.
Step 5: Visualization: Visualize the consequences of each alternative.
You’ll see right away that some of the alternatives won’t meet your goals or will bump up against some constraints. Focus on the good ones and visualize the possible outcomes. This is where a lot of people give up. “How can I make a choice? I can’t predict the future.” That’s right. You can’t. But you can visualize possible alternative futures. That’s futures, plural. How likely is each one? What are the consequences of each alternative in each scenario? You may need to do financial forecasts or assess risks using Monte Carlo analysis. Or you may just do a subjective rating. This step could take minutes or months, depending on the time line you’ve set for yourself.
Step 6. Insight: Choose the best alternative.
Focus in on the most important goals and constraints and the most feasible and promising alternatives. Make a matrix to compare the alternatives against the goals. You always have multiple, conflicting goals and there are techniques for balancing them.
Step 7. Make it happen: Act on your decision.
You’ve wasted your decision if you don’t do anything with it. Accept that something has to be given up, that somebody won’t like it. You’ve already decided that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, so go for it.
Here’s a summary of the seven steps:
- Mission: Discover the decisions you need to make by thinking about dissatisfactions, opportunities and goals.
- End-time: Set a deadline at which time you’ll make and act on the decision, even if you don’t have all the information you want.
- Goals: Identify your full range of goals, considerations and constraints
- Alternatives: Identify your full range of options without judgment
- Visualization: Visualize the consequences of each viable option
- Insight: Choose the best alternative by comparing the most promising ones against each of the key goals
- Make it happen: Act on the decision, otherwise it will be a waste of time
I’ll be blogging about each of these in future posts.
Live deliberately. Take charge of your decisions, your life and your business.