How do decisions become faster and better? How to decide in complexity? How does consensus democracy work? In this treasure everything revolves around the topic of decisions. There are numerous practical tips and tools. I also present a rather unusual approach.
I have already given several Brownbag Lunches on the subject of decisions in complexity. If you would like to try out the format and/or topic in your organisation, contact me please.
Nugget 1 – How to make decisions faster and better?
As you may already know from treasure 101, I have been dealing with the topic of decisions for the last few weeks. Anne M. Schüller has devoted herself very extensively to the topic and summarized it in an article that deserves a firm place in the bookmarks. I would like to take up three aspects from the article and enrich them with my own experiences:
- Spotify’s assessment says that in 70% of cases an employee decides just as well as his boss and in 20% of cases even better. The boss is also a bottleneck and decisions take longer. So if the boss decides, the costs are doubled. On the one hand are additional costs for the decision, since data muste be collected for the boss and also the working time of the boss costs. In addition, there is the cost of delay. The suggestion to make all operative decisions in the team makes a lot of sense. Alternatively one can agree with the help of Delegation Poker, which decisions in the team can be made and to which degree the boss has to be involved.
- In many enterprises coworkers and teams are not used to make decisions. Sometimes fear prevails to meet wrong decisions. This is the perfect breeding ground for Monkey Management. I don’t think it’s that easy to get rid of the monkey. In these organizations it is often seen as a weakness when bosses don’t make decisions. Additionally, it feels good to help the team. I try to stand firm and not let the monkey sit on my shoulder. But sometimes it does happen and he laughs at me. How do you prevent the Monkey?
- I would like to suggest an additional method. For unclear situations, where no knowledge exists yet, it is recommended to toss a coin or roll a dice. This is the first way to generate knowledge. If necessary one can then revise the decision and/or adapt the way. If one does not like the result of the coin or dice roll it could be that knowledge exists or that the gut feeling says something else. In any case, you have challenged your gut feeling.
I am convinced that when it comes to making decisions, practice makes perfect. So dare to make decisions. Those who have read treasure 100 know that most decisions are like doors through which you can go back again. (11 min, text, German)
Nugget 2 – How to decide in complexity?
How to decide in complex environments? What are complex situations? Nadja Petranovskaja recommends to classify the situation first. The Stacey Matrix, which for me belongs in the toolbox of every knowledge worker, helps to do this. Unfortunately, many people today do not even know the difference between complicated and complex. This means that tools for complicated environments are applied to complex environments and one is surprised that it doesn’t work.
Instead of experimenting, analyzing and reacting to the situation they start with analysis and plans will be forged for weeks. This is wasted time, because you can only learn how the complex system reacts by trying it out. I would like to see a little more “Just do it” mentality, especially for us Germans. Or how do you deal with complex situations? (5 min, text, German)
Nugget 3 – How does a consensus democracy work?
The premium collective takes a rather unconventional approach to decisions. The company became successful with Premium Cola and is probably known to one or the other reader from the first “Augenhöhe” movie. Which role Uwe Lübbermann has in the collective, I cannot say exactly. After his name is in the imprint, he is probably formally managing director. But in reality he would probably never call himself CEO, because in the collective all are equal. Decisions are made by consensus.
I’m not a big fan of consensus because it’s not very fast. After all, everyone must agree with the proposal. In many companies there is an emotional consensus. One starts with a proposal. Then a few arguments are exchanged. Already after relatively short time the opinions solidified themselves and in consequence actually only the own positions are cemented. That goes on until someone hits the table. The more people are involved in the decision, the longer it will take. With Premium Cola there are 260 people. But obviously the collective has learned over time how to make decisions faster. But there are two special rules for critical decisions. I find the Premium Cola operating system very interesting, but I wonder in which environments it can work. Would it work in your company? (6 min, text, German)