Formal Decision-Making Process

The formal decision-making process influences the quality of decisions. Break down the decision-making process for important and far-reaching decisions into phases. In the first phase (problem definition), sharply define and delimit the specific issue to be decided. In the second phase (decision preparation), identify and engage all relevant influencers. Gather relevant information and structure and condense it. Only now, in the third phase, do you move on to decision making, in which you work out arguments and positions and weigh up all perspectives in discourse. Finally, in the fourth phase, you can move on to decision making. Value assertive decisions that are supported by everyone more highly than decisions that are objectively better but not assertive. Only if you can get all stakeholders on board will you achieve implementation success. Demand a commitment from all stakeholders to carry the decision made and to support the implementation. Decide with determination, but carefully, i.e. only after you have “decided” within the team. Take the necessary time to prepare and make the decision.

Decide in such a way that the decision gives you more options than you had before the decision. This is not in line with our Western culture, where we make decisions by choosing one thing over another. Try to avoid such narrowing decisions and look for “both/and” solutions whenever possible.

Decide to produce effects, not to show good intentions. This becomes possible, if you understand the interactions of forces and if you know about the physiological aspects in the decision-making process.

Finally, do you have the decision-making authority you need to do your job well? Or do you not have the decision-making authority you need and are used more as an accessory to decision making and a scapegoat when things go wrong? Let people know that you envision your role differently. Does your supervisor exercise his or her decision-making authority, or is he or she more of a “breakfast director”?


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