“We don’t make decisions.” “Nothing ever gets done around here.”  “No sooner than we make a decision in a lead team meeting it is undone by all the conversations behind closed doors.” “Sales and marketing refuse to cooperate.”

It was true.  This business’ decision making process was broken and the business was suffering. The good news (and yes there was good news) was that everyone on the business wanted to make the business more successful.  Good intentions were rampant.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, was doing what they were doing with the right intention.  Intentions and impact don’t always match up.  Everyone felt someone else was the problem.  People did not feel free to express their point of view when it dissented from the majority.  Candor was locked away. Decisions were not informed and thus had no shot at being great.

It’s not rocket science what helped them.  It was simple stuff.  Bringing the people who had a vested interest or unique perspective on the decision together for a decision design workshop.  Three days of framing, visualizing/prototyping, co-creating the recommended decision, identifying of triggers to cause reconsideration and a communication plan. Candor. Following that, a decision maker who was well informed making a decision. A clear communication plan implemented with optimism that unleashed the organization to support the decision with enthusiasm.

Surprisingly simple.  Yet, the issue had haunted them for years.  “We don’t have time to take three days to work this.” Yes, they did.  It saved them countless hours and days on the back end, because they had leveraged a decision design process. A holistic and systemic approach which enabled them to “make it a great decision.”

It is possible. I have helped sow the seeds and seen it bloom.


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