Making decisions, often viewed as a management competency, it also distinguishes leaders from followers.
High performing organizations go one better. Leveraging the increasingly connected environment, they eliminate information bottlenecks and strengthen decision-making capabilities at every level. The advantage of speed, ownership and agency that happens when individuals resolve problems as they occur offers the organization an edge over their competition. A combination of automation and people power insures responsiveness in both a timely and appropriate manner. These are the qualities that earn the trust of employees, customers and investors.
How’s your collective intelligence? How easily does your organizations seize emergent opportunity, address issues as they occur, and feel prepared for the future? GM wasn’t alone in ignoring the problem in its ignition switches, but the subsequent recalls and investigations and fines could all have been averted. It all begins with engineer who identified the flaw in the ignition switch. Had they felt authorized to formally share these findings with team members and together work out alternatives rather than leave it for others to correct and stick to the timetable, what might have changed?
Decision-making includes the ability to decide, to reprioritize the task timetable and access all the resources and contingent managers to resolve the issue and keep moving the project ahead.
How well does your organization dance?
Invention, innovation and breaking in a new process, system or idea can be slow, frustrating. For every confident move, you may need to take two steps back when things don’t go as you expected. Decision-making in your organization can feel that way too. Do individuals with greater knowledge of the situation have authority to act? Do they have ability to acquire or access resources with proper expertise? Don’t let the specializations separation get baked in to the organization’s DNA, Separate but equal in decision-making power can work, because it also forces collaboration, cooperation and clarity of communications. For example, the checks and balances system of the three branches of the Federal government originated with the constitutional convention. Delegates’ experience with the tyranny of the crown insisted on distributed power and an open, deliberative decision-making process. Sure egos and competing agendas can produce stalemates or they can also produce innovations and lasting commitment to a better future.
Trust and faith flow in situations where people respect the decision-making process and honor the decisions made. The ultimate complement on a well made decision may be the silence and peace that follows. The golden ticket to the virtuous value cycle engages your employees in your organizational goals, delivers authentic and positive experiences to your customer that ultimately delivers satisfaction to your investors.
Decisions are needed when changes in the situation affect the stakes. Suddenly the status quo shifts and an alternative becomes possible. The best laid plans naturally miss the newly visible option, not becasue they remain committed to the original stake or outcome. They merely lose sight that their advantage has changed, and with that change new players and new approaches enter to lay claim too.
Make use of all your native intelligence by openly increasing the flow of communications, ideas.
Great leaders trust their people and in turn their people’s trust in them produce higher performing organizations.