10 Questions to Frame Decision Making

During one of our weekly meetings, Suzanne Mueller, our new Director of Everything, asked me for some help. She asked me to name the important questions she should be asking when making decisions about what opportunities to pursue and which ones she should release. A few days later, our Guidance Team, a collection of leaders in our church and from our Presbytery that govern, serve, and pray for the church, were deliberating an important decision and asked me for the same kind of questions that Suzanne requested.

The exercise proved to be fruitful, so I'm sharing the list here. All of the questions will not be relevant for all decisions. But the list is non-specific enough to be useful in some way on most occasions when the right answer isn't obvious. The point of the exercise is to encourage the right kind of conversation and challenge the basic assumptions we often bring to decision making moments that may need to be reconsidered.

10 Framing Questions

  1. If it doesn't work how hard will it be to stop?
  2. What's the worst thing that can happen if it fails?
  3. Can we eventually give it away?
  4. When we are done building, what does it look like?
  5. Will it demand additional staff?
  6. How quickly can we start?
  7. If we don't do it, who will notice?
  8. If we do it, who will notice?
  9. Is there a way to experiment/test it on a small scale first?
  10. Are we prepared if it's successful?