Making Decisions That Count


FountainBlue’s October 7 Front Line Managers Online program on the topic of ‘Making Decisions That Count’. Please join me in thanking our panelists. 

  • as a Program Leader – Amber Barber, Jade Global
  • as a Business Leader – Melissa McDonnell, Dolby
  • as an Operations Leader – Lora Muller, Tektronix

Our versatile and accomplished panelists have certainly made a wide range of impactful decisions in their respective careers. They were generous and gracious enough to share their wisdom.
Be Strategic.

  • We don’t know what we don’t know, so enlist a wide range of people and perspectives around the problem, not just people who share your own viewpoint.
  • Clearly communicate WHY decisions are made, factors and people involved in making the decision, desired results of the decision, revision or pivot plans around the decision, etc.,
  • Leverage the data to make business cases behind decisions. Different stakeholders might need different business cases. 

Be Plan-ful.

  • Have a clear and complete problem statement, including input from a wide range of perspectives.
  • Strategize on how to get classes of resistors or individual resistors onboard with a decision. (Hint: Start by understanding their motivations and fears.)
  • Create a win-win framework for all involved, where possible.
  • Err on the side of action, once you’ve worked through your strategy and your plan.

Connect and Align.

  • Connect with humility and open-mindedness, inviting open inquiry and input, and aligning on common goals. 
  • Manage through any miscommunications and misalignments with honest, direct, empathetic communication, building connections of trust.
  • Make the distinction between alignment and agreement. You might insist on alignment on goals, but might not agree on how some task is performed to achieve that goal.
  • Debate all sides when coming to a decision, but align behind the decision once it is made. 
  • Help everyone be open, transparent, collaborative and communicative, working as one team to achieve a common goal.
  • Empower everyone to be accountable and responsible. Follow the DACI/RACI (Driver/Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) model to optimize decision-making. 

When things go south…

  • Own a bad decision and learn the lessons from these choices.
  • Pivot agilely, strategically and plan-fully.

We learned that there might not be much difference between the BOB (best of the best) decisions and the WOW (worst of the worst) decisions… It all depends on how we lead, manage, communicate, and navigate through the challenges and opportunities ahead.


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