5 steps to making better decisions

August 20, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

Decisions, decisions. Sometimes life would be so much easier if someone else made the decisions. Like it or not, nonprofit managers have to make decisions, often. Sometimes they work just great, and other times, well …

It would be nice to have a crystal ball or magic wand, but the fact is that decision makers have to go with what they have, information, expertise, talent. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of assembling and evaluating readily accessible information. At other times, it might mean going with the gut.

During the 2015 Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference, Peter Houstle of Mariner Management and Marketing and Elizabeth Weaver Engle of Spark Consulting said that those who are called on to decide can be helped by thinking of five steps to better decisions. Those steps are:

Scope. Determine the business drivers. Ask the right questions (who, what, when, where, why, how), and be curious. Challenge.

Collect. Get a 360-degree view: CRM/AMS, accounting, Google Analytics, all the data, from members, prospects or staff.

Clean. Identify and correct duplicate and missing data. Look for validity, consistency and relevance.

Analyze. Data visualizations, dashboards and data discovery. Use a variety of measures and standards. Measure what matters.

Communicate. Remember training, evaluation, and communication of results.

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