Keys to unlocking great decision-making  

17 May 2018:

You can tell an organization has problems making decisions when you hear these complaints: The organization is “too complex,” possesses a “meeting culture,” or has “too much consensus.” “Too complex” can simply be code for “it’s too hard to get things done.” And while people often finger too many “cooks” as the culprit, we’ve seen matrix structures where, despite many people being involved, roles are clear, how things work is straightforward, and decision-making is fast and effective.

For agile organizations, getting decision-making right is critical since their foundation rests on an action-oriented decision architecture. The result: Organizations with high decision-making velocity and quality generate 2.5 times higher growth, 2 times higher profit and 30 percent higher return on invested capital, our research shows.

Still, decision-making is hard. An unclear or poorly defined process can trigger decision “churn,” where previous judgments are revisited; a “fog of accountability,” where no one is truly answerable; “death by PowerPoint,” where decision-making gets lost from too much information sharing; and bureaucratic governance.

We’ve identified three common myths that contribute to difficulties in decision-making:

Myth 1. You must choose between quality and speed.
Good decisions are often made quickly. Usually, it reflects a decision-making system designed to maximize engagement of the right stakeholders but minimize the number of decision makers, accelerate the entire process through decision execution, provide ruthless role clarity, orchestrate key points of collaboration, and streamline governance to keep meetings and approvals to a minimum.

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Source: McKinsey

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