Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Collective Decision making

Ask questions and let people figure it for themselves. You make a decision, when you ask only relevant questions.

No one makes a decision. Every one just has one key to the decision. The person asking the question has the "master" key and lock.

That is why self-help books talk about the quality of asking the right questions: "Unlocking of potential."

Until you show the lock and use the master key first, all other keys are ineffective. This is a reason why teams fail the promise. They are capable, good, independent show-stealers, but along a single-dimension. Multi-dimensional, bigger goals, larger good are left a lot to be desired to the extent that in a team each stalwart assumes a dwarfed position to meet "their" objectives, not a "rolled up team objective".

Thinking you make a decision by stating an action or getting people to act on your command, is not a decision. It is an instruction to follow. When the team is incapable of a decision, give your instruction. The result should then aid in decision. To get closer, give another instruction. But decisions need to be perceived individually. Consider a decision is made when each member phrase it in their personal "Aha" moment. This is the decisive point which get a larger buy-in power.

Decisions and Instructions clear many "mental clouds". They closely follow each other and lead to results.
  • They steer away from "action paralysis".
  • They remove the clutter away from "multi-choice indecisiveness".
  • They arrest the shift and postponement of issues down the line making it a costlier corrective affair.
A decision tree (Mindmap) or fish bone diagram helps in arriving at a decision. The branches in the tree or individual bones (fish bone diagram) are instruction branches aiding towards a decision. To use the branches effectively, decisions should never be made on reflections. They branches need to be populated with
  • real-data (not perceptions),
  • seek affirmation from peers,
  • ask questions,
  • discuss with people relevant to the roles for a better informed, agreeable, sustained, praise-worthy decision.

Happy Decisions!! and enjoy the decision making experience.

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