Most important business decisions require compromise: To do one thing, you have to give up another. Next time you need to decide between conflicting priorities, try doing these three things:
- Set boundaries. Establish which options are on and off the table. Filter choices by asking: What are we absolutely unwilling to do?
- Balance the timing of wins. Ask what you’d be willing to trade in the long run for some important short-term gain — and vice versa.
- Gauge support. Estimate who will support a particular idea and who will oppose it. Ask whose backing you can live without, and whose buy-in you absolutely need.
Adapted from the Harvard ManageMentor Online Module: Strategic Thinking.