Decision-making is an integral part of our life. Every individual, administrative officer, manager and leader is faced with lots of decisions that need to be made every day. Decisions become more complicated and have more serious ramifications with the growth of the person or the organization. Our living and working style is experiencing fundamental changes that are driven by a wave technological disruption. We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous world where we take hundreds and hundreds of decisions subconsciously or consciously, making it as the key component of the role assigned to us. Essentially, rational or sound decision making is taken as primary function of management. The most successful individuals and leaders in the world have often made many wrong decisions in their life and their careers, but those failures always lead to valuable learning experiences. As such it’s important to find ways to make the tough decisions.
Decision-making involves the selection of a course of action from among two or more possible alternatives in order to arrive at a solution for a given problem. Decision making process involves intellectual minds and requires solid scientific knowledge coupled with skills and experience in addition to mental maturity and it also is a consultative affair to drive better functioning of any organization. It is a continuous and dynamic activity that pervades all other activities pertaining to the organization and plays vital importance in the functioning of an organization. Decision making process can also be regarded as check and balance system that keeps the organization growing both in vertical and linear directions. The decision making process seeks a goal. The goals are pre-set business objectives, the organization’s mission and vision. To achieve these goals, organization may face lot of obstacles in administrative, operational, marketing and operational domains. Such problems are sorted out through comprehensive decision making process. No decision comes as an end in itself, since it may evolve new problems to solve. When one problem is solved another arises and so on, such that decision making process is continuous and dynamic.
Command is one of the basic decision-making styles where leaders make decisions without consulting their teams, as in certain scenarios there is no time to consult with the team about the best course of action. This is an effective style, especially when things are moving quickly and the team is looking for immediate guidance. In a business setting, leaders use this style the most effectively on large financial decisions and in crisis situations.
Collaborative decision-making is where leaders gather their teams and invite feedback and insight. The leader still makes the final call, but is certainly armed with the team’s opinion and proper data to make a more informed decision. This can also be referred to as evidence-based decision-making. This style gives better results with the team members who are able to strongly argue the other options and not with such member who always agree with the leader.
Consensus based decision-making is more democratic as leaders gather their teams and everyone votes and majority rules. This works well when the outcome of the decision affects the entire team and generally does not immediately affect the bottom line. Although this is not the most efficient way to make a decision, but there are some decisions that can be made this way. This type of decision-making in a business can help mold the culture when the team is allowed to vote and have a voice.
Convenience based decision-making or complete delegation is when leader is surrounded by trusted peers. Sometimes the best decision a leader can make is to not be the one to make a certain decision. Convenience decision-making has many benefits including measuring the decision-making abilities of your team members and managers, empowering your team, besides maintaining sanity of the leader. By handing over some decision-making responsibilities, leaders are also building a better management team and giving them the confidence they need as their responsibilities increase. New decision makers take fresh approaches to solving problems.
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