Most business are typically not short on project ideas to grow and make changes. Those inside the business know what holds it back or what the next opportunity likely might be, and usually there’s more than one idea.

The challenge lies in deciding what to do next and how to prioritize resources to support various initiatives, all while continuing to provide quality services and products to paying customers. Members of the leadership team will propose ideas that are personally meaningful and champion implementation feverishly, often competing for valuable resources.

There’s never enough resources to support every proposed change, especially not simultaneously.  And the fear of making a wrong decision can be crippling, resulting in no changes, and hence no growth, being made at all.  So, what’s a business owner to do?

Try stepping back and asking, “Given the strategic goals for the business, which single idea would have the biggest impact on achieving those goals?"

It’s likely that all the various project ideas support business goals in some way, but due to variances in scope, available resources, time and how well-developed an idea is, one project proposal will usually rise above the rest. 

If debate still exists, challenge each idea thoroughly to understand the business case.  Invite the key leaders to vote.  While ‘decisions by committee’ are often incapable of achieving consensus, a vote can give the business owner an idea of which project will achieve the greatest level of stakeholder commitment.  After all, the leadership team is a key group of stakeholders for projects intended to grow a business; their commitment level will impact the chance of a project’s success.

In any case, it’s wise to proceed with a popular project with a business case that directly aligns with the business’s strategic goals, even if there is some uncertainty about whether it was the top or second choice.  The alternative of doing nothing by letting the decision paralyze efforts, or trying to execute them all at once, will most certainly NOT advance the business’s growth objectives.