Luigi Wewege on: Startups, Strategic Focus, and the Decision-Making Process

Any startup endeavor that tries to quickly move forward without a thoroughly developed and well thought-out strategic focus is simply bound to endure substantial struggles and consistent challenges. These challenges are wholly unnecessary. Entrepreneurs overseeing a new startup endeavor are far more likely to enjoy success if they make a commitment to determining the best methods for allocating their time, money, and human capital. Through the development of a strategic focus, startups can consider short- and long-term goals with much greater clarity, especially during the decision-making process.

Developing a Strategic Focus

In order to develop an effective strategic focus, entrepreneurs must be able to accurately assess the strengths and weaknesses of their company at the present moment. Since entrepreneurs are naturally more optimistic than most, this can be difficult. Therefore, it is critical to rely on objective data and detailed analytics while developing a strategic focus. It is also worth noting that there is also a substantial benefit associated with courting diverse perspectives, as long as these diverse perspectives come from knowledgeable and trustworthy sources.

Courting Multiple Perspectives

The most successful organizations understand how an assortment of cognitive biases can negatively influence the decision-making process. An individual decision-maker will have difficulty combating the impact of these cognitive biases, which is why so many organizations seek objective opinions and guidance from others, including from sources outside the organization. In some cases, organizational decision-makers will hold a meeting in which everyone argues both for and against a course of action.

This strategy helps mitigate the impact of cognitive biases and ensures business leaders select the most beneficial course of action based on nothing more than the objective merits of the strategy in question. Of course, it is not always cognitive bias that leads startup entrepreneurs astray. An unrecognized information gap or blind spot can have a similar effect on the decision-making process, and it is often in the best interest of a startup entrepreneur to seek guidance from a mentor or some other trusted resource who can bring a wealth of relevant insight and expertise into the equation.

Information-Rich and Process-Oriented

It is crucial that entrepreneurs recognize that perfection cannot be expected, although it is indeed something every entrepreneur should continually strive to achieve. Even those who seek out the input of experts, and consider a wealth of information during the decision-making process will sometimes make a decision that causes the business to experience a setback. In these kinds of circumstances, entrepreneurs should understand that the outcome of an individual decision does not necessarily indicate the process itself is flawed.

When developing a strategic focus, and identifying short- and long-term business goals, entrepreneurs must also work on creating a specific decision-making process that will ensure every decision made is aligned with organizational goals. With an information-rich, process-oriented approach to decision-making, startup entrepreneurs should feel an overwhelming sense of confidence as they consider the best decisions and strategies for achieving each one of their short- and long-term organizational goals.