Monday 14 June 2010

Decisions must be made where and when it matters

Everyday decisions:

I believe in an old adage - the devolution of responsibility to those who do the work.

How many times does it happen that you are dealing with someone and need a decision and they have to refer the decision to somebody else? For me this happens far too often and simply illustrates a lack of training, a lack of trust in people, and people being over-managed and under-led.

For all key transaction and interaction points (what Jan Carlzon once famously called moments of truth) of your product/service delivery path, the people at the coalface should be willing, able, and allowed to make decisions, period.

Some decisions do need to take awhile:

The following is a decision-making model I teach people to get them started on effective decision-making.

I am staggered at the number of organisations who don’t have a decision-making process and so I designed the following as a starting place. Usually wise people evolve it into something that works well for them.

NB NEDs stands for Needs, Expectations, and Desires. In some quarters must haves, should haves, and nice-to-haves and in others demands, desires, and what is felt is deserved.

Having a decision-making process for the decisions that can’t or shouldn’t be made on the spot means:

Transparency of decision-making which means greater acceptance and high support of the decision
A greater likelihood of buy-in by all people affected by the decision
High probability of making the right decision
Less poor decisions
Less rework
Less problems we need to make decisions about in the first place

Effective decision-making and making decisions where and when they matter, combined with giving memorable service, structures and systems that fully support people in bringing their best to their work on a consistent basis, being able to describe your strategy in six words, pursuing enlightened self-interest, turning values into virtues, and compelling stories without spin (see previous posts of June 13th, 11th, 9th, 7th, 4th, and 2nd) are 7 of what I believe are the 8 critical factors for success in modern business.

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Please join me in Manchester on July 7th for a one day summit on the 8 critical factors. Details here.

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