Become a Jedi-Master in Decision-Making

Consider how many decisions you have to make as a leader every day. How many of these decisions involve lots of perspectives? How diverse are those different perspectives? Do you have any formal models for how you make decisions or does it simply come down to a “gut call” in the end?

Our work with leaders shows that they are overwhelmed by the sea of information coming at them as they try to make decisions. To make matters worse, they are not able to articulate how they make a decision, particularly when there are lots of people involved in the decision process. This is concerning to us because what we observe happening is that leaders make poor decisions based on incomplete data, and they often make the situation worse. Or, they do a poor job communicating others how they will make decisions and leave people feeling marginalized or completely left out of the process.

The leaders we work with learn formal collaborative decision-making models, and we put them to work implementing these models in their work with teams of people they lead. These models give clarity to how decisions will be made, how others’ perspectives will be used (are they there to provide information to inform the decision or are they going to be directly involved in the decision process?), and the results we will track to show whether the decision is producing the desired results.

The result is that leaders make better decisions that consider multiple perspectives, they create a culture that encourages participation and feedback from others (rather than having a hierarchical system where people feel disengaged), and they have clear communication about why decisions were made and what impacts they are having on the organization’s overall purpose and vision.