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Learn how big companies make decisions

Making decisions in an intelligent and agile manner define the future of companies, as it is part of the innovation and the risks in which they are going to submerge.


Multinational Companies know that making the most important decisions is part of a long process in which a large number of variables are analyzed. From those that have to do with cash flow, to those that relate to the principles of philosophy between companies.

Frequently, when large mergers and acquisitions take place, the reasons that led the companies to join their efforts are revealed. It is common among leaders to find arguments such as “We found in this firm the partner for … ” or “we find in the workers some common ideals that we seek in all our lines of business”. But this is just one example of what the larger corporations do, especially in terms of making some determination. And it is important to learn from these signatures the step-by-step of this complex process.

A bad decision can lead to ruin. A good decision, at the least opportune moment, can be more costly. A successful decision can prevent a third world war. We will take a small editorial license at this point. A Russian man, in 1983, when the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was in full swing, he realized a failure on his radar.

We talk about Stanislav Petro, colonel of the ‘Red Army’ who detected in his surveillance system the approach of a missile, then appeared four more. Instead of following the protocols and warning his superiors, he made the decision to wait and in the end, nothing happened. This act represented the repudiation of superiors and a belated recognition in Western culture. When asked why he acted that way, he replied: “People do not start a nuclear war with only five missiles.” For doing nothing, he was discharged and lived in ostracism. However, that decision not to press the button prevented a catastrophe.

A lot of ‘chit-chat’, now the lessons

Now, returning to the topic, Experts advised these practices in companies like Coca Cola, BBVA, Pfizer and others. For them, one of the success lessons that must be learned by new generations, particularly with companies in the digital world, is that they have to become more efficient in the decision-making process.

“Digital companies have a culture that encourages people to become more encouraged to participate: their way of working, more segmented than pyramidal models, allows for faster process,”. All giant companies launch their products more quickly and give the impression of moving faster than the big firms.

For the adviser, whose opinions were replicated by the World Economic Forum portal, these are the lessons that can be learned from the larger corporations to make a successful decision:

  1. Understand the purpose of the decision: Whoever decides must be clear about the purpose of what he seeks with his decision, because the objectives are many. All decisions must have an end, if there is no such, there is no possible alternative.
  2. The possible ways: What are the options to reach that goal? Companies typically have a great challenge here, as they usually do what their comfort zone has become accustomed to, but that is the constant to repeat the same actions and complicate the road to innovation.
  3. Risks: This is the uncertainty that each alternative entails. Understanding risks well and analyzing their implications is the third point in importance.
  4. Generate contingency plans: This is one or several strategies in case the decision culminates in a bad scenario, so that the damage is controllable.
  5. Choose. Time to opt for the best alternative. Here they combine elements such as information, tools, implementation, human resources and anticipation of problems.

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Learn how big companies make decisions


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