We worked with a global financial company to create a bespoke workshop to help them speed up their decision making processes.
Many large companies find decision making difficult. As John Kotter, author of Accelerate, writes:
“Part of the problem is political: Managers are loath to take chances without permission from superiors. Part of the problem is cultural: People cling to their habits and fear loss of power and stature—two essential elements of hierarchies. And part of the problem is that all hierarchies, with their specialized units, rules, and optimized processes, crave stability and default to doing what they already know how to do.”
We ran two workshops for executives in our client’s offices. A number of participants also joined the workshop via video link in India and the US.
We started by giving a brief explanation of how decision making works, drawing from literature and case studies (see sidebar). Then we briefed the participants to engage in a series of short discussions in breakout groups to identify specific cases and examples from their work.
Discussion prompts included:
After hearing the conclusions from each group we added to these by highlighting some recommended approaches from literature, plus a series of useful tools.
Finally the groups worked through an exercise applying the recommendations and insights from their group discussions to a realistic scenario case study created especially for the workshop.
We finished the workshop by challenging participants to create an action plan for better decision making. Prompts included:
We provided a summary of the workshop’s content and recommendations, plus a decision making toolkit to each participant.