Effective decision making requires free and participatory choice

Making decisions seems easy. Making decisions that everyone will support is not so easy. You will be required to make decisions that impact others. Organisations seem to work better when people get an opportunity to influence decisions that have a direct impact on their work.

When people feel that something is important and they have some control, they will be motivated to take actions and make things work. When they believe that something is important but they can exert no control, the common tendencies are to become defensive, to-play-it-safe, to-withhold-information and find-ways-to-escape. Effective decisions require participation from people right through the process of decision making. You should create a free and open participation platform for people to feel that they are in some control.

When people participate, they will be able to get the right view of the constraints and impacts, ahead of time. This helps them understand and influence their own actions to be in line with the decisions they recommend. This improves the effectiveness of the decision and helps in smooth implementation as well. This requires courage and confidence in your people. When you respect and engage with people, you will create the free and open platform that encourages participation even at times of tough decision making. You will build a remarkable team and the craft.

be #dreamerdoer

How to find good raw materials for decision making

Decision making is an involved exercise. The more responsible position you have, the tougher it is. We all make decisions routinely. But when you are required to decide for others, and maybe for your entire team, business and include all stakeholders, it becomes harder. Fiduciary responsibility makes it much harder. Weak-hearted practitioners adopt dodging, delegating and allowing time to take its course. But a leader is required to stand-in for the purpose and take timely, right decisions.

Decision making is a process. A series of data gathering, analysis, interpretation, simulation, and validation before a decision is made. Raw materials for this process is relevant data, experience, ideas, and scenarios. Great decision makers carefully collect, validate and use these raw materials diligently. One of the most powerful tools they use is practicing asking and listening. They master listening.

Larger the span of the impact of the decision, you have to collect raw materials from all corners and those who might be impacted. Since you may not have the luxury of time, you have to do it quickly and subtly. The best practice is to tap into intelligence, experience, and imagination of as many relevant people as possible. Encourage them to talk – in personal conversation or in a focused group, ask questions like – what do you think should be done about this…? or What do you think we are missing in this…? What we should avoid while doing this…? Let them speak well. Collect all raw-materials that you can use to produce a remarkable decision. When you encourage them to talk and you listen, You win people and get raw materials for your craft.

Instead of engaging with people in the ask and listen to act when you are in the process of decision making, make it a routine practice. Respect and engage with people you work with, work for or building the craft for. They feed quality raw-materials required for decision making all the time. The time you take for a sound decision making and the effectiveness of the decision improve remarkably.

be a #dreamerdoer

What fuels effective decision making and problem solving?

Decision making and problem solving occupies significant portion of your time at work. Most customer facing team members believe that it is their full-time-job. Though, you might be responsible for the decision you take, the process of decision making and problem solving involves quite a few others. How well they perform and how timely they respond, decides the effectiveness of the decision and the problem-solution.

Both involve analysis-synthesis-evaluation cycles to identify an effective path-forward via triangulation of options. This requires analytical skills – one that individuals are trained to do, creative intelligence – one that evolves over time and timely application of knowledge & experience in a creative manner. Creativity plays a significant role in the entire process and effectiveness of the result.

Creativity is like a delicate flower that blooms with praise and discouragement often nibs it in the bud. Remember how well you feel and produce better ideas, when your efforts are appreciated. Do the same. Appreciation of efforts fuels better and more ideas from all involved, to help decide well and identify solutions that effectively solve the problem, mostly in record time!

be a #dreamerdoer