If you watched BBC’s The Apprentice tonight, or indeed were on Twitter (paper, scissors, stone was trending worldwide), you will probably have joined the rest of the viewers in giggling, snorting, and taking the piss out of poor Tom (#poorTom was also trending) who was ridiculed for using the children’s game to make a decision.

But I’ve tossed a coin and rolled a dice to make decisions, from monumentally business-changing decisions to smaller less important decisions. And it works.

Not because it’s about the result of the game. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about gut instinct, how you feel when you win or lose.

Consider this: you have to make a decision about whether to sell your company to suitor A or suitor B*. Both have attractive propositions, both have offered generous sums of money, both have promised to treat your staff as if they were their own. How do you differentiate?

Toss a coin. Heads for suitor A and Tails for suitor B. The second the coin lands, you have your decision. Instantly, your gut will tell you. “Yes, that’s brilliant” or “No, that’s not right, I would have preferred the other”.

Decision made.

So don’t mock using games to make a decision, they are simply a prompt to force you to listen to your instinct – it’s usually right.

*This is a true story. It’s how we decided to sell our IT company. What happened next is for another blog 🙂