In my last posting, we explored the business of decision-making. Great leaders know how to make decisions logically and in a timely manner.
In post #1, I suggested that good decision making requires:
- Solid research
- A good evaluation of all the options
A recent article by Harvey Schachter offers two more decision making tips:
- “Don’t get hung up in your views of how things “should” be because you will miss out learning how they really are.”
- “…remember that you’re looking for the best answer overall, not simply the best answer you can come up with yourself.”
Both tips suggest we need to work out our decisions in a group, consulting with others and coming up with a consensus. But many will argue that this process can be stifling, time consuming and often lead us down a path that is too safe, too normal and possibly wrong.
It is very hard to satisfy everyone all the time. And the more you suggest that everyone has a say in the decision, the more you will leave a part of your audience very disappointed.
And so, Mr. Schachter did some digging and came up with a policy from the Creo Products Ltd. employee handbook.
“Employees were treated as presidents of their own work: If the decision was small, affecting only the decision maker, or if a quick decision was needed, they were instructed to decide on their own. If the number of people affected was small but the impact large, consensus was advised, with everyone following an ‘I can live with this’ rule. If the impact was small but the number of people affected large, decisions were to be made democratically with the majority ruling. If the decision’s impact was large and the number of people affected was also large, a small group should be formed to hammer out a consensus, with input from all affected shareholders.”
“That focuses on the situation,” he goes on to say, “impact and people affected – rather than the brilliance of one individual”.
Having said all of that, leaders need to make decisions effectively. If it requires group input, it should be obvious to the leader. If it requires a single-minded, stand-alone approach – this should also be clear.
Leadership is not easy. Neither is decision making. Maybe this will help.