How to Make Better Business Decisions

Interested in making good business decision but feeling stuck? Consult your mental board of advisors. Among the many tasks small businesses try to complete these days is the creation of a board of advisors. Especially in the technology area, such a board not only provides marketing oomph, but also, well, advises you as you're growing your business. Essentially a board of advisors is there to brainstorm with you, to provide perspective when you're trying to make important decisions.

Interested in making good business decision but feeling stuck? Consult your mental board of advisors.

Among the many tasks small businesses try to complete these days is the creation of a board of advisors. Especially in the technology area, such a board not only provides marketing oomph, but also, well, advises you as you’re growing your business.

Essentially a board of advisors is there to brainstorm with you, to provide perspective when you’re trying to make important decisions.

But what do you do if, for various reasons – like that you’re new, have no money, or don’t have the connections – you can’t put together the board of directors you’re really like to have?

You can struggle along on your own. Or you can spend hours researching the problem on the internet in the hopes that a kernel of advice will pop up there.
 
But the best solution – courtesy of serial entrepreneur and leadership trainer Stever Robbins – is to form a mental board of advisors.
 
Think about it. No sales pitches to get some star on your board. No need to prostrate yourself in front of the ego of that guru you’d really like to have on your side. No having to figure out the mindset of this advisor at a given time. No cost! There certainly are many reasons to form your own mental board of advisors.
 
Another reason is that you can pick the top people in various fields as your own personal advisory team. You’re not limited by geography, time, or connection.
 
Here’s how to form your own mental board of advisors.
 
Determine who you believe is the best public figure in the various fields of management – strategy, operations, finance, marketing, IT, and human resources. Then read as much as you can of what they’re written – their books, their blogs, their various interviews – so you can form a solid picture of how they think.  (Obviously, this means they may not be the absolute best, but are more likely the most public best.)
 
And don’t just limit yourself tolcurrent stars. Since it’s mental, you can pluck advisors, living or dead, from the past and maybe the future as well. For example, how about Ghenghis Khan for leadership? He did, after all, unite the nomadic tribes of Mongolia and go on to conquer half the world. Maybe you can put yourself in the mind of Nostradamus when you have to form a vision of the future. He was pretty good at it.
 
Then step into their shoes when you’re confronted by the need to make a decision and you’re confused. Basically, ask yourself what Guru X would say. And then be Guru X to provide an answer.
 
For example: Let’s say you’re faced with a marketing problem. Maybe you want to consult Steve Jobs, your mental advisor in that area. How would Steve approach it? Similarly, maybe you’re trying to determine a new strategy, but all you can find are endless variations on a theme in the literature out there. So you consult your mental creativity advisor, Sir Ken Robinson about jump starting your creativity.
 
Sure, you’re not actually accessing the expertise of Steve Jobs or Sir Ken. But you can access their approach to problem solving.
 
Give it a try. It may be difficult at first and you may have to get your imagination in gear.
 
But it’s certainly better than stewing in your own juices while you’re trying to make a decision.