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Where Do Decisions Originate?

Everyone is struggling to identify the moment a discussion moves to a decision.

A couple of months ago, we launched the alpha version of Hoop with the goal of learning as much as we could about adding light structure to help you make better decisions faster.

Since then we’ve had hundreds of conversations about decision making and how Hoop can help. Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

Hoopsters enjoying a coffee break during a recent offsite

📦 Everyone is struggling with the same problem

Almost every single conversation leads to the same issues: too many meetings, too many Slack messages and very little action to show for both.

For decision making specifically, the main pain points revolve around ambiguity. Who’s included in a decision? What’s the scope? How do we make the decision? Who has the authority to make the decision?

🤔 It’s not clear when a decision originates

Sometimes it’s obvious a decision needs to be made, but most of the time, the need for a decision comes out of a discussion or conversation.

More often than not, you need more context, data or insight into an issue before understanding the scope of the decision, and the transition from “We’re gathering intel” to “We’re making a decision” isn’t clear.

Once a decision has been identified, it’s best to move out of discussion mode and into a process to produce the best outcome. The tricky part is learning to identify when that shift happens.

✉️ Decision making is collaborative

A best practice for decision making is to seek out diverse perspectives and viewpoints. When people make decisions in meetings, the scope of how many viewpoints can be represented is limited by factors like who is included in a meeting, social dynamics, and who is loudest.

The science on this is clear: running an independent process to gather opinions outside of a synchronous setting produces better outcomes because more voices can be included and people have time to be thoughtful and write down responses.  

One of the promises of Hoop is to make it easier to get input from others on a decision outside of a meeting. So far the data is proving that to be true: We’re excited to see users naturally inviting others to collaborate on decisions.

❓How did your last decision originate?

We’re interested in learning about how people understand that a decision needs to be made. Call it decision origination. Does it happen organically in Slack conversations? Or agenda topics in meetings? Does a lightbulb go off in someone’s head that initiates a different type of conversation?

Where and how did the last decision you made at work originate?

Let us know on Twitter by tagging @hoopdotapp for a chance to win Hoop swag.

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