As business leaders we are constantly bombarded with issues that require a decision.
These issues arrive in all forms, sizes and from quarters never expected. As we ponder our ability to make those decisions, let us reflect back on 2011 and the decisions we made. No doubt each of us can record 12 decisions we made about our business during the past year? Maybe some leaders will be able to recall 252 decisions they made, but if we stop to analyse the decisions we made what would we expect to find?
Many of the decisions made would be of a situational level, but with some investigation we will find that we spent a sizeable amount of time on them, and probably far more than what they were worth. At the other end of the scale decisions around strategic issues were either taken with comparatively little investment in time, or we have relegated these to be done later, which will probably lead to ‘never’!
In the diagram below
- We see that we can be operating in the four quadrants, but which of these should we be focusing our attention on most?
- We know that we should be making the least decisions in the ‘routine’ quadrant and most in the ‘Consensus’ quadrant.
- We leave room for some level of ‘Expert and Fair’ decisions, either from the position of ownership or due to legal obligations.
- If you are or feel you are making too many ‘Routine’ decisions, then staff will always feel they need your ‘blessing’ for everything.
- Some simple tools and measures will quickly allow them to make the decisions and you to have the confidence they can. (This will free up a significant amount of time for you)
- If you are making too many Expert decisions, then it is time to consider employing someone that also has this skill set, specific to your business. You run a high risk of being the only person to ensure quality.
- If you are making too many ‘Fair’ decisions, then it is probably time to review what you may be losing because these are deemed to be compromising the business.
- If you are making too few ‘Consensus’ decisions, then a coach and/or mentor can be of great value, to you and the business.
Lean Thinking will assist you and all the staff improve decision making appropriate to the level of complexity.
Far too many strategic decisions are not made as leaders are preoccupied with constant decisions at the ‘coal-face’, instead of the future of the business.
We both know that is not what you envisage for 2012?
Articles by Greg Ellis
- New book, A Walk in a Foresters Boots, the First Journey - Finding my Feet - April 10th, 2013
- How Lean Thinking benefits organisations in the service industry - September 9th, 2011
- How Lean Thinking benefits small business owners - May 13th, 2011
- How Lean Thinking benefits Forestry - March 23rd, 2011
- How Lean Thinking benefits the Marine industry - March 10th, 2011
- What will it take for some to use Lean Thinking in their organisation? - February 11th, 2011
- Hello to Lean Thinking - January 23rd, 2011
- Lean Thinking, Banish Waste - December 9th, 2010