6 Ways to Improve Association Decision-Making

image of woman looking in crystal ballFor association pros, decision-making can be simple or stressful, easy or hard. However, regardless of the situation, when you identify the type of decision to be made and the most appropriate form for that decision, the process can be clear-cut.

3 Forms of Decision Making

  • Maximizing: Making the most of the utility of things – recognizing and exploring all possibilities in order to determine the maximum benefit.
  • Optimizing: Obtaining the best possible outcome from what is available – choosing the best possible outcome as a priority, although it may not be the maximum.
  • “Satisficing”: A combination of sufficing and satisfying – declaring something good enough, once this is found amongst the alternatives. The decision is simply “good enough” in order to move on and spend that energy somewhere else.

Permission to Win On-Demand with Mary Byers:
What Associations Should Do When They’re Being Outpaced by Change.

3 Types of Organizational Decisions

  • Strategic decisions have to do with the identity of the organization, the vision, and the direction it is moving in. They are designed to help the organization move into the future over the long term.
  • Tactical decisions are medium-term decisions about implementing the strategy (think mission statement).
  • Operational decisions are about the day-to-day functioning of the organization.

Association decision-makers should utilize all three approaches.


  • If all the decisions are tactical and operational, and there is no strategy, the organization will not do well.
  • If decisions are all strategic with little or no tactics or operational decisions, the association won’t progress. Example: There are loads of opportunities out there, and we have lots of ideas, but we can’t seem to get it together.

Regardless of the type of decision you’re faced with, be sure that it is aligned with the vision and mission of your organization.

Association Mission Statements: How to Make Sure Yours is On Target


SEE ALSO: How to Plan an Association Board Orientation



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