Whose Decision is it Anyway?

It is way too easy to say that because I’m the boss, I decide. That is a very autocratic approach, and your company will only be as good as the dictator at the top making those decisions, and there has never been a dictator that gets it right all the time.

The opposite view might be that you require consensus with all those involved before a decision can be made. In my experience, very rarely will everyone agree unless the decision has no consequences or you have a team of suck-ups. Have you ever heard the saying, “if two people in a company always come to the same conclusion, one of them is not necessary”. Not making a decision because everyone is not at consensus can be paralyzing to a company. Being unable to decide is a decision also, which can have disastrous consequences

Setpoint is unique in that our culture promotes ideas and debate regardless of who is on the other side of that debate. Pretty much everyone at Setpoint feels comfortable enough to tell me when they think I’m up in the night, and that happens all the way up and down the organization.

I have worked in other places where there were taboo subjects that you could not talk about in front of certain executives or owners. That has an unbelievable stifling effect on ideas and choices that come forward and can be considered. The worst part is that those executives never engage their organizations brains and get the benefit from those that are working closest to the challenges.

Creating the right environment for deciding:

  • You must create an environment where ideas can flow freely, with no repercussions
  • Make sure it fits into the strategic direction of the company
  • If you are surrounded by smart people and they are telling you not to go the direction you are thinking, maybe you should stop and listen to them because you might not have the best idea
  • At the end of the day what you and everyone in your organization should want is the decision that best fits for the direction you are heading
  • Very rarely will you have perfect information and data to make your decision, nor will the same checklist work for all circumstances
  • In my career it has been more important to recognize when you are off-course rather than holding off deciding until you have all the data you need to make a decision
  • If you do not give credit to those contributing the idea, it’s not hard to know who will decide in the future, it will be you because no one else will put their ideas forward
  • Have milestones where you check the validity of the decision to see if it is on- track or if modifications need to be made

Good luck in creating an environment where good decisions can be made.

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