winning organizations will be those organizations that will
have a common decision making process in place and who trained
all their staff in it.”
Harvard Business Review, June 2004
Everyone will have their own idea of what is
a good decision making culture and what is not a good decision
making culture, but one thing that everyone will agree on
is that most organizations need to improve the way they make
decisions. You can ask individuals in any organization about
the skills of their immediate superior and you will not always
get accolades. When you ask them what they see as poor performance
then they will give you a combination of the following:
- Nobody asked us and we are the ones who need to implement
- Poor decision making meetings, in fact, it is a waste
- The boss thinks she is accountable, and therefore she
must make the decision.
- My boss is autocratic and he does not allow for any participation.
- Most times the information we are working with is suspect.
- There is no logic in the way we are making decisions
in this company and in most cases it gets re-done within
Sounds familiar? The business of decision making
is all about winning the hearts and souls of the end users
and recipients of the outcomes of the decision. Having said
this, it then makes the job of decision making less factual
and information driven and more psychological.
The Main Components of a
- Collaboration – This is the ability to identify
the correct stakeholders for every decision and then to
have the correct participation strategy to involve them.
The three major components of collaboration are:
Process – This is the ability to use the correct
approach to decision making and then for the rest of the
team to follow the same approach, making it a common decision
making approach. The three major components of Process are:
- Stakeholder orientation and involvement
- Decision making practices
- Implementation strategies
- Information gathering
- Information processing
- Information accuracy
All six of these sub-components are measurable
in any company and this makes it possible to create a profile
of a successful and a not so successful decision making culture.
The measurement of this and the state of a specific company’s
decision culture can be stated in one of the following nine
Nine Culture States
The worst state is that of “dictating”
and can be equaled to that of a dictator…no collaboration
and no process. This kind of culture does not allow for stakeholder
inputs and has no process for gathering relevant information.
The best state is that of “decision leadership”.
A company with this decision culture allows for stakeholder
inputs, excellent at implementation and normally uses a facilitator
in decision making meetings. This culture allows information
sharing at most levels and always makes decisions based on
the best information available.
Products and Services
Thinking Dimensions has various products and
services to improve decision making practices in any type
of organization. The following are a few of these:
- Decision making workshops – Thinking
Dimensions can train your company employees in the various
decision making processes and collaboration approaches to
enable them to improve implementation of decisions.
- Decision making consulting – An experienced
Thinking Dimensions consultant will analyze and provide
feedback on how any team can improve their decision making
practices within their own area. This consulting will also
be brought into the meeting situation where these approaches
could make a total difference in how results are achieved
- Decision surveys – TDI would be able
to conduct a decision survey that would accurately diagnose
the company’s existing decision culture. The aim is
not to label a company’s decision culture, but to
use it as the springboard to move the culture to the next
best possible level.