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Make Better Decisions by Thinking as a Team

Group problem-solving almost always beats out individual problem-solving.

Successful entrepreneurs are always quick to credit their teams as a major factor in their success. As I recently wrote, great teams build great businesses.

But while there are many reasons that it’s important to hire well, there’s one that people rarely consider: a great team helps you make the best decisions for your business. 

Small business owners have a tendency to feel like it’s all on them. Especially when you’re the sole owner, or one of two, you feel like it’s your responsibility to make every single one of the decisions that will guide your company.

However, the research suggests making decisions as a group outweighs the decision-making skills of the individual, even if that individual is an expert. Take the example of the group of climbers up in the mountains deciding how to get back down. The group invariably makes a better plan than even an experienced climber.

This is why you need to consult your team. Don’t become inward-thinking or let the burden of decision-making rest on your shoulders alone. Not only will it slow your business down, it won’t result in the best outcomes.

This is easier said than done. In the daily hustle of making things go, you may feel you don’t really have time to solicit input from everyone. Or maybe your entire business is made up of only one or two employees.

You’ve got to be creative. Either connect with people outside your organization--which is easier than ever, thanks to websites like LinkedIn and Quora--or make a point to welcome more feedback from within.

You may have the final say, but that doesn’t mean you’re required to go it alone.

Last updated: Jul 25, 2013

MICHAEL ALTER | Columnist | President of SurePayroll

Michael Alter is president of SurePayroll, America?s leading online payroll service. He received an MBA from the Harvard Business School and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Northwestern University.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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