Some managers choose to make decisions by themselves and then are frustrated when they face difficulties getting the decisions implemented. They don’t understand that a decision’s potential effectiveness is related to both the quality of the decision and acceptance by those who must implement it.
A high-quality problem means that expertise is required to make the decision. Managers who lack sufficient expertise need the input of others who have the necessary expertise.
Managers who have the necessary knowledge and skills can solve a high-quality problem independently- but only if it is a low-acceptance problem.
A low-acceptance problem means that acceptance of the decision will not be an issue. The decision is considered insignificant, or the group affected by the decision is confident that the decision maker has the specific expertise necessary to make the decision.
A high-acceptance problem requires that the affected parties are involved in the problem solving/decision making process. Unless they feel they have had some input into the decision, they are less likely to accept it or cooperate in its implementation.
Three Key Questions
If they want their decisions to be implemented, managers must answer the following questions:
- Does the problem require expertise to solve?
- If the answer is “no,” then this is a low-quality problem, and the manager can make an independent decision.
- If the answer is “yes,” then this is a high-quality problem, and the manager must answer the next question:
- Do I have the necessary expertise to solve the problem?
- If the answer is “no,” then the manager must involve others with the necessary expertise in the decision-making process.
- If the answer is “yes,” then the manager must answer the next question:
- If I make the decision by myself, is it reasonably certain that it will be accepted by the affected parties?
- If the answer is “yes,” then this is a low-acceptance problem and the manager can make the decision independently, without the input or participation of others.
- If the answer is “no,” then this is a high-acceptance problem, and the manager should involve the affected parties in some part of the problem-solving/ decision-making process.
Question: Do your managers have difficulty getting their decisions implemented?
Participating in a structured peer learning group on the topic of decision-making can help managers learn how and when to involve others to ensure that their decisions are implemented. Contact Deborah Laurel at 608-219-3594 if you would like more information.
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