Making Decision Effective

Finally any solution has to be made effective in action. A great deal of time is spent today on selling solutions. It is wasted time. To attempt to sell a solution is both too little and too much. It implies that all is well if only people will buy. However it is of the essence of a manager’s decisions that other people must apply it to make it effective. A manager’s decision is always a decision concerning what other people should do. And for this it is enough that they buy it. They must make it their own.

To speak of selling also implies that what is the right decision be subordinated to what the customer wants but this is poisonous and dishonest doctrine. What is right is decided by the nature of the problem; the wishes, desires and receptivity of the customers are quite irrelevant. If it is right decision, they must be led to accept it whether at first they like it or not.

If time to be spent on selling a decision, it has not been made properly and is unlikely to become effective Presentation of the final results should never be a great concern though in line with the oldest and most basic rule of rhetoric, a decision should always be presented to people in language they use and understand.

Though it is a questionable term the emphasis on selling, the decision points up an important fact: it is nature of the managerial decision to be made effective through the action of other people. The manager who makes the decision actually does not do such a thing. He defines the problem. He sets the objectives and spells out the rules. He classifies the decision and assembles the information. He finds the alternative solutions exercise judgment and picks the best. But for the solution to become a decision, action is needed. And that the decision making manager cannot supply. He can only communicate to others what they ought to be to be doing and motivate them to do it. And only as they take the right action is the decision actually made.

To convert a solution action requires that people understand what change in behavior is expected of them, and what change to expect in the behavior of others with whom they work. What they have to learn is the minimum necessary to make time able to act the new way. It is poor decision making to present as if it required people outlearn all over again or to make themselves over not a new image. The principle of effective communication is to convey only the significant deviation or exception and that in clear precise and unambiguous form. It is problem in economy and precision.

But motivation is a problem in psychology and therefore stands under different rule. It requires that any decision become our decision to the people who have to convert it into action. This in turn means that they have to participate responsibly in making it.

They should not, to be sure, participate in the definition of the problem. In the first place, the manger does not know who should participate until the definition and classification are done; only then does he know what impact the decision will have and on whom. Participation is unnecessary and usually undesirable in the information gathering phase. But the people who have to carry out the decision always participate in the work of developing alternatives. Incidentally, this is also likely to improve the quality of the final decision, by revealing points that the managers may have missed, spotting hidden difficulties and uncovering available but unused resources.

Precisely because the decision affects the work of other people, it must help these people achieve their objectives, assist them in their work, contribute to their performing better, more effectively and with a greater sense of achievements. It cannot be a decision designed merely to help the manager perform better, do his job more easily or obtain greater satisfaction from it.