You work in the real world, a messy place filled with exceptions, complications and people. When you are making decisions in real-world organizations, you must factor the following into your decision-making process, if you want to make the best decisions:
- The relative urgency of the decision. How fast must it be made? When the urgency level is high and you need to get on with it, complex processes and waiting to collect data can often get in the way of the decision.
- The importance of engagement. How important is it that people agree with, support and implement the decision? If the decision needs to be made quickly, engaging others for their ideas or data might take too long; yet when we ask people for input or involve them in the decision-making process, we get more ownership and buy-in.
Organizational decision making is about more than the processes and data (as important as they are). It is also about the speed with which the decision must be made and how important it is that people are ready to comply, act and implement that decision. The messiness comes, in part, because speed and buy-in are competing factors. We can raise buy-in with time spent, and buy-in may suffer when speed is of the essence.
How can we build buy-in without increasing the time required?
There is a key to organizational decision making that can allow speed and buy-in to grow independently or even at the same time. It isn’t about the data, the facts, the process or the ROI.
If you want decisions that are more completely and effectively implemented in your organization, in less time, build organizational trust. So ask yourself:
- Do your team members trust you and your judgment?
- Do you trust them and their experience and wisdom?
When the answers to those questions are “Yes,” the decisions you make can be made faster and with greater agreement, regardless of the approach taken to get there.
Tools, approaches and processes are important, and the more of those you have in your toolkit, the more effective you will be at solving problems and making decisions … and … time spent granting, building and gaining trust will pay greater dividends than you might have thought before you read this article.
Here’s to better decisions, more effectively implemented.