Who Makes The Decision? A Simple Framework For Better Decision Making

Decision Making: A Simple Framework To Decide Whose Decision It Is

Written By: Kevin Watson

20th February 2019

Often times, teams enter into a discussion without knowing how a decision will be made – or who will make it!

This can lead to all sorts of issues.

If it’s assumed the matter will be put to a vote, only to find the leader makes the call, people may become apathetic or lose trust.

So, to help become clear on who is making the decision ahead of the discussion, I use an activity called Is It A Knot Or Not A Knot?

This simple activity is all about decision making as a team, using the framework below to identify whose decision is it:

Whose Decision Is It?

  • Authority: the leader makes the decision without consultation
  • Consultation: the leader makes the call, after soliciting views and opinions from the team
  • Expert: the leader defers to an expert in the team, who may or may not solicit views and opinions depending on context
  • Democratic: the leader puts it to the team to vote, with the decision being determined by the majority
  • Consensus: the leader puts it to the team to agree as a whole

Note: in the Democratic method, the leader may stipulate a majority number, e.g. at least 75% of people to agree.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong. Thomas Sowell

Using a framework such as this ahead of discussing critical issues can bring clarity to the decision making of any team.

Call to Action

Give it a go next time you hold a team meeting and before you start discussing an issue or challenge.

Let me know how it works for you.

PS if you want details of the activity Is It A Knot Or Not A Knot, drop me a line.

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