Things happen every day at work to me. Many interactions cause me to say, "What the heck?" which is followed by a feeling of being trapped in a world where nobody realizes how stupid we all are. I’m included in that because I get sucked right into it like everyone else. I want to write about these interactions to help me work through it and behave better in the future. I hope you add comments as well about what works for you.
Today's example is about decision making. Has this ever happened to you?
– You are a decision maker.
Boss: We want decision makers in this company. I trust you and need you to make decisions.
You: Everyone, this is what we are doing.
Everyone: I don’t agree.
– You are the team player
Boss: I still want you to make decisions, but I need you to get the others on the team involved, let them be a part of the decision making process.
You: Thanks team for coming to this meeting, this is what we need to accomplish, how do we do it?
(5 meetings and endless hall conversations later in which nobody agrees)
Boss: Have you got that task done yet?
You: No, we are still waiting on input from Ralph on how to do it.
Boss: We need to get it done. I need you to make it happen.
The business world is littered with scenarios like this every day. People want more decision makers but we either get bogged down in meetings and discussions because we need to communicate with everyone or we get in trouble because we didn’t get input from everyone we needed to. What is the right answer?
My answer, is a little of both. For the most part, I try to make decisions and send an announcement out to everyone saying, "This is the decision, you have until the deadline to provide me any feedback, if I don’t hear anything I will take that as agreement with the decision." If someone doesn't respond, you gave them the chance, so they really have no room to complain. That doesn't mean they won’t complain, it more just means they shouldn't.
As long as you give them sufficient time to respond with feedback I think you are safe. I still get into trouble plenty and I certainly don't make all the right decisions, but I'm a firm believer that decisions that are made quicker allows you to take action quicker, and action is where the true gains are found. It is about executing on the decision that makes you successful, not just making a decision.
Decision making is often flawed in companies. Hopefully I can help my company get better at it.