Group decision making dynamics when buying puppies

19th August 2013

In July my cocker spaniel, Lula, gave birth to a litter of puppies. We are now at the stage of finding suitable homes for the puppies. This process has involved families coming to our home, looking at the puppies and deciding which one they want. Observing families in their decision making processes has given me food for thought about how groups make decisions in business.

A couple of observations that are top of mind are…

The different data people pay attention to when they make decisions – the parent dogs, where they have come from and their medical histories; the colour of the puppies; how the puppies behave when they pick them up; how much the puppies cost. Some families will base a decision on one of these points of data, others want numerous data points. It is interesting to notice that the people who are least informed about the breed do not ask about any of the congenital disorders that are prevalent in cocker spaniels, a case of not knowing what you don’t know.

I think there are some interesting questions this raises for groups in business making decisions. What data do they pay attention to? How do they know they have all the data they need to make a well informed decision?

Who makes the decision –  it varies from family to family – the father, the mother, the children. I fell fowl of one buyer who decided to buy a puppy and then went home to have her husband say they could not a dog. So, the decision maker had not been in the room. Again, this situation raises important questions for business decision making. Who needs to make the decision? Who could unravel the decision if they are not involved?

As I experience more of life I am realising that everything I learn can be applied to facilitation 🙂