I recently read an article that addresses the speed and effectiveness of decision making. As an agent of change, I work with leaders at all levels who are constantly challenged with making timely and effective decisions.
In the Fortune article Increasing the Velocity of Execution, the authors call out two key points:
1) Decision rights should belong to those closest to the customer or situation
2) Timely and effective execution requires collaboration
Our job as leaders is to help our team develop critical thinking and decision making skills. In addition to helping them develop their skills and confidence, we need to empower them to make decisions that are appropriate for their role and level of experience. In essence, give our people the authority commensurate with their accountability.
According to the article, 50% of mid-level managers say their “primary job frustration is that decision making is taken out of their hands.”
Too often leaders solve their direct report’s problems. Because we are pressed for time – stuck in day-to-day operations and going from one fire to the next – we believe that we will save time by directly resolving the situation ourselves. The irony is that this approach actually consumes more time in the long run, and doesn’t enable our staff who are closest to the situation to develop their own critical thinking and decision making skills.
Establishing decision rights at multiple levels throughout your organization increases decision making velocity and effectiveness. Doing so will also enable your staff to build the skills and confidence necessary to do their jobs even more effectively.