Reaching jointly supported decisions is best
McKinsey and the Harvard Business Review found that executives rate 75% of all meetings as inefficient.
Business leaders and teams face struggle in making decisions. In the political arena such as the recent U.S. presidential elections or with Brexit, we see the lack of decision-making regarding important social topics. These are examples of how problems can arise in decision-making when the majority and minority are similarly sized with divergent opinions. In business we see a similar situation, the question always arises of how the business prioritizes backlog stories, such as the prioritization of epics for agile teams.
All around us, we see the dramatic consequences of people failing to make jointly supported decisions. We urgently need a new form of decision making to solve these crises.
Why Traditional Decision-Making Doesn’t Work
Traditional forms of decision-making are simply not good enough. Their limitations make them unsuitable for mastering today’s challenges in companies. We all know the shortcomings of authoritarian decisions and we have all experienced how easily team decisions get out of hand.
Most important business decisions are made in groups, and those decisions go wrong in two common ways.
One way is through the participatory approach – the individual accountable for the decision asks everyone in the group to chime in, with little structure or process.
- Some people talk about options; others talk about the question
- Some people think they understand the proposal, others know they don’t
- The discussion creates doubt and confusion in the group
- Participation is usually low because people are often afraid
- It’s hard to understand why some group members participate and others don’t
- Often those who do not agree still try to influence the process later
In the end, either a decision is never made, it is watered down by compromise, or it takes far too much time. Implementation is not shared and is sometimes boycotted because a participatory decision is an authoritarian decision.
The other way is through the authoritarian approach – the individual accountable for the decision makes the decision themselves, perhaps taking input but mostly informing the group once it’s made.
- The decider often misses key information that could have changed the decision
- The group feels as if their voices weren’t heard
- The group doesn’t understand the problem clearly, or why the decision is correct
In the end, the accountable individual has to force compliance with the decision, or the impact evaporates when others disagree.
Safely and Efficiently Make Decisions in Individuals and Teams
Decision Making Management (DMM) empowers people to make decisions safely and efficiently. First, the process establishes every participant’s understanding of the proposal and determines the priority. How important and urgent is the topic and how motivated is the team to work on them! Before entering into a discussion, a commitment to the proposal is determined, and then this information is used to bring about a commitment.
- At each stage, the input is clear, simple, anonymous, and real-time.
- Digital tools enable inclusion of diverse voices at each point.
- In a rapid process, the entire group understands the problem, knows why the decision makes sense, and experiences how they are included throughout the process.
Here’s how it works in detail:
- Enter your proposal into Decision Making Process as the leading question
- Engage in the understanding loop:
- Send the proposal to your group, asking for their understanding rated in the KiE scale
- For those who rate their understanding low, ask them to say what they would need in order to fully understand and answer their questions
- The group rates again and the cycle continues until the understanding rating is high enough
- Engage in the commitment loop:
- Send to group, ask for commitment in KiE scale
- Those who rate commitment low can say what be need that the proposal would be successful
- Refine the proposal with the competences of all
- The group rates again. If engagement is high enough, the commitment is made
What makes DDM work?
With digitized DDM (dDMM) everyone participates, they are anonymous do they can be brave, and they all have their speech at the same time, so they aren’t influenced by other opinions. dDMM is robust and predictable. With it, risks are raised early and become visible for all. Decisions become actionable and jointly supported.
When you make jointly-supported decisions, then procrastination, watering down and evasion become things of the past. Everyone grows motivated to contribute to the solution.
Instead of criticizing, highlighting the problem, or analyzing the root cause, people bring resources to develop viable solutions. Any project begins with measures to ensure success.
This process helps people make even better decisions than could have been foreseeable at the beginning. Everybody can become self-responsible and self-organized.
The core processes are an integral emotive as well as cognitive rating scale, the conscious intuition with a resource orientation, and an individual decision strategy as well as a general prioritization and commitment process.
Using dDMM, teams and organizations flourish. It supports traditional as well as agile and new forms of cooperation, for a peaceful and humane coexistence on this planet.
Use it today!
You are welcome to share your experience and participate in the experiences of others.
Just take part in the survey with immediate feedback.
April 2021, Sophie, Richard and Elsa
„Traditional forms of decision-making are not good enough.” Richard Graf
Graf, Richard. (2018). Die neue Entscheidungskultur: Mit gemeinsam getragenen Entscheidungen zum Erfolg. München: Hanser Verlag.
McKinsey (2019): Why do most transformations fail?. Abgerufen am 02. Juni 2020, von https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/transformation/our-insights/why-do-most-transformations-fail-a-conversation-with-harry-robinson
Standish Group report 2019. Abgerufen am 02. Juni 2020, von www.opendoorerp.com/the-standish-group-report-83-9-of-it-projects-partially-or-completely-fail/