378-2 Decision Making Management is Key to Succeeding at Diversity & Inclusion

“With Decision Making Management (DMM), the authoritarian strategies as well as participative strategies can no longer dominate.” Sophie Alcorn

Talking is not enough

How do we get past the basics of Diversity and build true Inclusion into our corporate cultures? What are the barriers that prevent talented but non-traditional employees from contributing and succeeding in a company? One key barrier is the way those already in power dominate decisions, even when they don’t mean to. Often it’s because leader lack the tools to manage truly inclusive decisions, especially in crisis situations.

Corporate D&I Lacks Decision Making Management

It is obvious how authoritarian decision-making processes block real diversity and inclusion. But participatory strategies also have serious flaws. They favor certain people, and exclude others. Usually, only people who feel secure and are already convinced speak up in public discussions. Research shows that those in power talk more and dominate conversations. For people who think differently, the participatory decision feels like an authoritarian decision, especially when it has been put forward.

With Decision Making Management (DMM), the authoritarian strategies as well as participative strategies – that are in last consequence authoritarian too – can no longer dominate.

The value of true diversity rests in bringing new voices and perspectives into our collaborative work. But we need to have a truly inclusive culture to gain those benefits. With inclusion, everyone’s competencies flow into the ideation, all perspectives are able to raise risks and chances, and prioritization balances diverse viewpoints. A joint commitment  supports the implementation. Diversity becomes opportunity, capital and resource! 

But how do we create that inclusive culture in decision making?

KiE Labs, Decision Making Management
Figure 1: Diversity needs successful implantation to change the situation

Distributed digitized Decision Making Management (dDMM) sets up a process where everyone participates – the discussion can’t move forward until every voice chimes in. But it’s also anonymous, so everyone feels safe participating. There are places in the DMM-Processes for concerns, risks, and conflicts to be raised early, before they feel disruptive. Reservations will be transferred in measures and decisions are translated into jointly-supported action. All teams, whether traditional or agile, can use these tools to create humane coexistence. dDMM is robust and predictable.

Throughout the process, everyone’s expertise is called upon, and it quickly becomes clear what is required for success. Reservations, risks and hidden conflicts are identified in early phases and translated into actions that create a jointly-supported decision in the process.

Teams and organizations develop, supporting traditional as well as agile and new forms of cooperation, for a peaceful and humane coexistence on this planet.

Success path from ideation to successful implementation

But how do we make sure these inclusive decisions make it out to the real world? That’s one of the strengths of dDMM. Diversity and inclusion will only be sustainably embedded in companies if the ideas from the competencies of all lead to measures that are successfully implemented. The flow and the structure of Decision Making Management makes sure that ideation happens first, so all the ideas are on the table at once, anonymous without anchoring effects. This means the team doesn’t get stuck on the first or last idea. And all ideas brought up to a jointly supported quality with the WeQuality Process. Changes will only be implemented sustainably in companies if the options first receive sufficient WeQuality.

The biggest mistake is to mix prioritization into ideation. The prioritization process should be started with mature stories (see WeQuality Process), so the team is able to prioritize, what’s important and what’s not. All important ideas that cannot be handled with the existing resources end up in the backlog for the next iteration. The subsequent commitment what’s to do ensures successful implementation. And in each of these phases, everyone participates and participates safely.     

Figure 2: Success path from ideation to successful implementation
Figure 2: Success path from ideation to successful implementation

Shared decision-making resolves conflicting interests. Use dDMM to embrace the challenges of the digital world. Give people a chance to contribute their different skills, even without face-to-face contact, with different backgrounds. Transform diversity from a challenge into a resource!

More: www.kielabs.com


April 2021, Sophie, Richard and Elsa

“With Decision Making Management (DMM), the authoritarian strategies as well as participative strategies can no longer dominate.” Sophie Alcorn.


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/

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