A decision turns an uncertainty into a risk

An organisation consists of decisions (Luhmann, 2006). Roles, structures, organisational charts, meetings, etc... most of the things that make up a company are there so that decisions can be made.

In the early days of industrialisation, attempts were made to make as many decisions as possible "at the top". "Downstairs", hands were required above all: "You are here to work, not to think!"

No company can afford this attitude today. It is a competitive advantage if decisions are made where the highest level of expertise is available. Because that makes the decisions better.

What is understandable from the outside, however, feels different when you are affected yourself: it's better to double-check with the boss - you don't want to do anything wrong. In most cases, employees are therefore looking for ways out so that they don't have to make a decision. Because every decision harbours a risk (of making the wrong decision). This risk is better left to the management - after all, they are paid for it. Decisions bubble up in the company like air bubbles in mineral water.

It is much rarer for employees to be too bold and make too many decisions. If required, we will create videos - please write in the comments below.

1) You are the boss

In the first case, this reluctance to make decisions is addressed directly - you are the boss.

 Decide 1-You are the boss

Conclusion:  Heinz is supposed to get out of the overload without relinquishing responsibility for the decision. A dialogue between him and the boss with the right questions is therefore more sensible than taking over the decision or forcing Heinz to decide immediately.

2) Guru

In the second case, Heinz acts a little more skilfully and praises the expertise of his superior. This is a common constellation when an expert becomes the boss.

 Decide 2-guru

Conclusion: Before any decision is made, the line manager must make a preliminary decision: Do I want to make this decision?  This preliminary decision should not be overturned, because otherwise the boss will fall straight into the  expert trap. Heinz can lean back while the boss takes responsibility.

3) Attack

In the third case, Heinz goes on the attack and makes his displeasure at being asked to decide very clear. 

 Decide 3-Attack

Conclusion: In this situation, it is worth questioning Heinz's emotional outburst without taking the decision away from him. The problem does not seem to be directly related to this decision, so it is worth having a dialogue at the relationship level and not focusing on the matter, i.e. the decision.

4) At no price

In the fourth case, Heinz tries by all means to avoid having to decide.

 Decide 4 at no cost

Conclusion: This decision-making situation shows very clearly how short-term or incorrect symptom treatment works (manager decides because Heinz doesn't want to or urges Heinz to decide immediately) and how effective leadership can be achieved by treating the causes (why doesn't Heinz want to decide?).

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Luhmann, Niklas. (2006). Organisation and decision