Rock, Paper, Scissors? Six Decision Making Ways to Watch For

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Who made that decision?! Why can’t anyone make a decision around here? We just made a decision to sail away on the Titanic. The same decisions always means the same results…

Ever hear any thing like that?

The manner in which any organization makes decisions says a lot about that organization. The decision making process should broadcast what is important and the direction of the organization – for better or worse.  How things are decided is so important that the process could be the key indicator as to the potential success of the organization. Watch decisions being made so that you can decide whether to stay or go. Decisions, decisions, decisions, here are six decision clues that will tell you a lot about your organization.

  • The Rock, Paper Scissors technique. Also known as the “Magic Eight Ball” technique. No matter what it is called, it shows management doesn’t know what the hell is going on and how to make a decision. It shows too that the organization is in trouble because they are guessing what might work. Imagine people turning over the Magic Eight Ball and seeing “Answer hazy, try again” so they keep turning it over.
  • The Mission Driven way. Probably the best way to build a successful organization and the most effective way to make decisions, assuming there is a mission. For example, if the mission is to save the planet, every single decision should further that cause. Every single one. (Also works for value driven organizations.)
  • The Crisis Driven way. Bouncing around from one crisis to the next one is not optimal. It’s hard to plan or do the real job when one is always in recovery mode and making decisions just to survive the latest crisis. Eventually a crisis will be so bad that there is no recovery.
  • The ‘Whatever’ way.  Saying “whatever” when it comes to decision making usually means no one cares. As in, “Should we cut jobs in India or in Mexico?” If the response is “Whatever!” that is an organization that is adrift.
  • The ‘CYA’ method. (Cover Your Ass) Middle managers are often accused of making decisions in this way but it can be rampant in any organization. When everyone is protecting their own job not much good happens for the entire organization.
  • The Analysis driven way. Analysis is good but it is rarely the only criteria on which decisions should be made. It can also be an excuse to not make a decision because there is always more analysis to be made. Combine analysis with mission and there could be magic in decisions.

How decisions are made is a reflection on any organization and should cause you to reflect on whether or not it is the place you want to be. Your own decision making process can have a bearing too on your own satisfaction and success. Take decision making seriously.

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