CEOs Do Not Have to Make Decisions Alone- Include Employees!
CEOs that make quality and speedy decisions increase the productivity of an organization- with or without basing it on complete information. Employers must not only make good judgments themselves, but also grow the decision-making abilities of his or her team, facilitate decisions that support the corporate strategy, and build buy-in for final resolutions.
Gossip and misinterpretations get started when employees hear about your decisions from other employees. Communicate the details about your significant decisions directly to your employees. Communicate why changes are important. Always communicate the basic reasoning behind each decision to facilitate comprehension, support and buy-in. This will also help your team make better future decisions.
CEOs need to make decisions on strategy, resource allocation, hiring and firing that significantly impact the business. Only inexperienced CEOs take on every decision no matter how insignificant. In a minor situation, don’t allow your employees to dump a decision on you if they have the expertise and authority to handle it.
Support your employees! If you require your employees to propose a solution and you agree with it, give them credit if things go well and back them if things don’t. However, at times you will have to make a tough call that goes against the consensus. It is important to elaborate on why you are overruling, but refrain from doing this too often. If your team is applying the company’s strategy, vision and goals when making decisions, then they will probably agree on the right decision. However, if you often find yourself at odds with your team, then there is a problem. Frequently overruling employees is not desirable, while achieving consensus is not always possible. Balancing between these extremes is critical to success. At times you must make a unilateral decision and move on. When the decision is not time sensitive or critical, to try to build consensus.
The best way to know if a decision was the right one is to conduct an official assessment. Strategic decisions should be reexamined through the regular review of key metrics and overall performance. Without an official assessment process, it is easy to avoid reexamining the issues or learning anything from the decision. With an official assessment, the organization can grow in its ability to make decisions.
Admitting failure is grueling but refusing to change bad decisions is dangerous. To maintain credibility and efficacy, reverse bad decisions before it’s too late. Some decisions, such as a major acquisition, are almost impossible to reverse and therefore carry tremendous risk. Careful analysis and thorough discussion are critical. Assign a senior person to play devil’s advocate, testing conclusions and identifying any weaknesses. That will significantly aid decision-making.
It’s impossible to have a perfect decision-making record but having a process to deal with decisions at all levels will help everyone improve their decision-making abilities and better support the organization’s goals as a result.