Decision Making:  Peter Drucker’s Framework

Successful business owners and leaders make effective decisions.  We face decisions every day, some of them are routine, and some of them require strategy. I often see leaders or groups struggling with a decision because they don’t have a framework with which to operate.

The 7 decision questions that I learned from Peter Drucker.

If you don’t know who he is please look here, or here.  You can also google him.

  1. What is the question? When I have pain, I want an answer. We are trained to be have quick answers, or a solution for any problem.  So, it’s natural to rush to the answer, but sometimes the question isn’t clear.  You don’t want the right answer to the wrong question.
  2. What are the opinions? Decisions are judgements and opinions are where they start.  Often, we try to start with facts only to build a case for the answer we want.   Starting with opinions, we can then ask, “what information do we need to validate these opinions?”
  3. Is there disagreement? Without organized dissent, we have group think, which carries great risk.  Or, you have people who are not engaging with the conversation.  If you have disagreement, does everyone understand all sides of the conversation?  The expression, “First try to understand” applies.
  4. Is a decision necessary? If a decision is not made, what will happen?  Will the situation take care of itself?  Sometimes, a decision must be made regardless of the information we have.  However, Information will always be better later, and a better decision may happen later.
  5. Who should make the decision? Will this decision impact others?  Hopefully, the lowest level of the organization where the work will occur will participate in this decision.
  6. What is right? What is acceptable?  How does this decision tie into the mission and values of the organization?
  7. What is the follow up? What are the expectations and will be providing feedback?

I hope these questions will be valuable as you think through your next decisions.  They have been invaluable to me.


If you would like to discuss this further, please drop me a line, or give me a call.