It’s ironic that in an age when you are practically deluged with information, decision-making in organizations seems to become more and more complex by the day. After all, arguably the most crucial element for decision making is actionable data. Thanks to such innovations as Artificial Intelligence- fuelled algorithms and analytics, you have rather good sources for such information.
But still, there are delays in decision making. Delays that cost organizations money and potentially lost opportunities that may make them continue to feel the loss for years to come.
Aside from business related data, leaders are also more well- aware of cognitive biases like loss aversion and confirmation biases. Indeed, there are organizations that have put in place formal methods and processes that help them bypass these biases. However, the jury is still out on how much these processes help with decision-making.
Two aspects in particular that hamper the decision-making flow in organizations are worthy of closer inspection.
Confusion regarding decision-making could lead to internal conflict in organizations
Lack of clarity on accountability
The crux of decision making could be traced back to accountability. Simply put, the person who is in charge of something should take decisions related to the same. This level of accountability sounds common-sensical. However, the fact is that such clarity is often lacking in many organizations.
This lack of clarity leads to the aspect of decision-making being shifted around from one hand to the hand of another person like hot potato no one really wants to handle. This obviously results in delay.
The paradox of better communication technology delaying decision making
It seems that the modern world is filled with paradoxes. Our inventions meant to help us live easier sometimes causes serious troubles for us. A good example is cars that run on fossil fuels. Thanks to their proliferation in our cities, they are slowly choking us to ill-health even as we use them to help us commute.
A somewhat similar situation seems to exist with communication technology as well. The digital technology has given us faster modes of communication. However, in organizations, even as we make use of these channels-like slack and email- we also tend to loop in change agents who are not necessarily key to related decision-making. This means any decision is passed down through multiple levels for scrutiny before a decision is made. Many of these levels are often unwanted.
The solution to the above two problems
The problems mentioned above could be tackled if the leader has a clear vision regarding the direction of the organization. Also, each team in the organisation should have a Compelling Shared Vision- a shared goal towards which they could move. Once the vision is clear, it becomes easy to allocate roles to each member that would help the organization attain the vision.
Temenos Vision Lab or TVL is a unique session that helps change agents realise their True Personal Vision and teams their Compelling Shared Vision. Backed by 25 years of business consultancy experience and using psychological insights, some of the best transformation coaches in business help guide you to your vision with TVL.
The kinds of decisions which vision would help expedite
There are three types of decisions that a vision- enabled change agent or team could make faster than those who function without a vision.
1.High-stakes decisions: These are decisions that are taken by the leader. The frequency of such decisions is low but the stakes are high. If his or her True Personal Vision is clear, it’s easy to project future consequences of the decision in relation to the vision. This makes it easy to make the right decision.
2. End-to-end decisions: These are decisions that are made between different teams working together. If the compelling shared vision of teams are well defined, it helps them judge whether a decision would help them progress towards the shared vision or not.
3. Individual decisions: These are frequent yet low risk decisions made by individual change agents in a team. A vision enabled leader would have a better hang on demarcating accountability to his team members so that there is no confusion as to who is the decision-maker in a given context.