Manage the Right Outcome by Managing Decisions Well

June 29, 2010 by  Filed under: Management 

Decisions are the atoms of every organization. Every business transaction, every new product launched, every new service offered, every process made more efficient and reliable, is a result of hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions. It is important for team members to know their decision-making roles and responsibilities in order to build high levels of trust, teamwork and innovation.

It is important for light-speed managers to focus energy into areas where difficult conversations are often conducted. This, first of all, means defining priorities. Which is the first decision? Which is the less-important decision?

Additionally, this means defining decision-making roles for your people, which oftentimes translates into less responsibility than your team members may think they have. At lunch one day, the manager of a large hospital division stated: “I need help learning how to be a better leader. What is my most important role as a team member?My immediate answer was “Define before you delegate”. Making the decisions you desire? Which decisions are you delegating to other people? You can’t be afraid to have those discussions.”

Our research shows few managers pay much attention to managing decisions. Oftentimes, the difference between decision making and decision managing is not accounted for. They fail to define roles and responsibilities clearly. Different types of decision processes can be confused. They don’t know the appropriate vocabulary – for example, they confuse collaboration with consensus. It is a failure to lay out decision processes in an organic flow, showing all team members their own roles. As a result, they fail to leverage themselves as leaders. Either they go too far, or not far enough, in empowering others. They fail to achieve the optimum balance of trust, teamwork and innovation.

Decisions are the day-to-day inputs and outputs of an organization. To operate at light speed, leaders must build systems that result in good decisions being made throughout the organization. It is important to teach team members how to manage decisions within the scope of the organizational core values and vision. They need to reframe how difficult decisions are communicated and made. Define before you delegate. Otherwise, the sludge of bureaucracy creeps in and paralyzes the organization. Adapting from making decisions to managing them is most important.

How to Manage Decisions Well is described in depth in new book Leading at Light Speed, a must-read leadership book revealing 10 quantum leaps to build trust, spark innovation, and create a high-performing organization.

Article Source:

Eric Douglas - EzineArticles Expert Author

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