One of the areas that the Shelton Leadership Center focuses upon is teaching effective decision making. We’re making a significant investment in trying to help individuals and teams learn and apply principles of critical thinking and decision making. As one board member noted, “One key of high performing organizations is making good decisions and making them quickly.
I ran across Decide and Deliver, written by Marcia Blenko, Michael Mankins, and Paul Rogers. They also wrote an earlier article (Jan 2006) in HBR entitled, “Who has the D?” In their work, they note there can be three bottlenecks to quick and effective decisions even in high performing organizations:
1. Global vs Local decision making: Who has the authority to make the decisions and tailored to local conditions? Is this a local decision (made by those closest to the front lines and facing the customer)or one that has to be made at a centralized level for consistency across the organization (who sees the big picture, sets broad goals, and overall strategic goals)?
2. Crossfunctional vs Functional decision making: What roles should different elements within cross functional teams play in the decision making?
3. Internal vs External Partnerships: This occurs most frequently with strategic partnerships and joint ventures. Which decisions must be made by members internal to the organization and which decisions should be owned by the external partner?
Rogers and Blenko offer a decision making primer to think through who should make which decisions using the acronym “RAPID”, although they caution the thinking does not need to happen in this order:
R-Recommend: Who is responsible for recommending or proposing a course of action or alternatives.
A: Agree: Who has to agree with and sign off on or veto the recommendation? (They suggest only a few people have this veto power).
P: Perform: who is responsible for executing or implementing the recommendation
I: Input: Who has input or are consulted on the decision. These are usually those who are typically involved in implementing the decision.
D: Decide: Who is the formal decision maker who is ultimately responsible for the decision and has the authority to resolve any impasses in the decision making process and commit the organization to action.
What are some keys you use or teach your team with effective decision making?