Six Fundamentals of Good Farm Decision-Making

August 29, 2016 12:00 PM

In any given day, you make endless decisions. Some will be quick, such as deciding which truck to drive or where to take your team to lunch. These decisions don’t need a lot of deliberation or brainpower.

Yet other decisions require more time and money. They have long-term consequences. To be successful in making these business-altering decisions, you should craft a decision-making framework, says Jennifer Meyer, a strategy development and economic evaluation expert at Strategic Decisions Group, a management consulting firm with eight locations worldwide. 

To overcome these hurdles, focus on the fundamentals of decision quality, Meyer says. Doing so will produce clarity about the best choice in an uncertain environment. 

Learn more about making good decisions with Meyer’s book, “Decision Quality: Value Creation from Better Business Decisions,” co-written with Carl Spetzler and Hannah Winter.  

The Fundamentals of Good Decision-Making

Appropriate Frame: “You have to be solving the right problem,” Meyer says. Detail what has been decided already and what you need to decide now.  

Creative Alternatives: With most decisions, you have multiple options to consider. “Outstanding decision-makers are exceptional at generating alternatives,” agrees Nicole Olynk Widmar, ag economist at Purdue University. “Your choice can be no better than the best of your set of alternatives.”

Relevant and Reliable Information: “All decisions are about the future,” Meyer says. “You can only get so much information, so be sure it really matters and is from unbiased sources.”

Clear Values and Trade-Offs: Write down all of the concerns you have about your big decision, Widmar says. “Then convert your concerns into succinct objectives.” Also, Meyer suggests, understand in most cases you can’t get everything you want.

Sound Reasoning: “We, as humans, are not designed to deal with uncertainty,” Meyer says. “We make mistakes about complex situations if we just trust our gut.” Instead, use tools such as a decision tree or scenario planning to represent what might happen. 

Commitment to Action: All of this planning is for naught if you aren’t ready to take action, Meyer says. Once you go through this process, be ready to pull the trigger.


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Spell Check

Lincoln, NE
8/30/2016 10:52 AM

  As humans grow up, the decisions we can choose to make shape our lives. Hopefully, wise and good decisions are made based upon the principles and methods mentioned in this story. One needs to have the right frame of mind capable to think about new alternatives which are relevant based upon reliable information. During the process clear values, sound reasoning requires commitments with a well defined action plan. I'm focused upon agriculture farm and ranch safety issues. Agriculture is an exciting yet challenging line of work. Dangers each and every day working the land, raising livestock, using tractors and equipment, handling grain and numerous other factors as concerns living on the land. Many individuals young to seniors love farm life. Being aware of hazardous situations and surroundings is so important reducing danger to one's life. Several individuals and myself are addressing AGRICULTURE FARM AND RANCH SAFETY using the mentioned information of THE FUNDAMENTALS OF GOOD DECISON MAKING recommendations. Many individuals grew up on farms and ranches remembering the challenges each and every day. Feeding animals during blizzards, weeding fields during the heat of day, working long hours on stressful tasks without much rest, and so many other factors to deal with on the farm. THE FUNDAMENTALS OF GOOD DECISION MAKING is a great reminder to plans made for today and tomorrow.


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