Deciders are Found Everywhere, But Who Are They?

In organisations, everyone who has some part in determining how the organisation takes advantage of its opportunities (whether by doing or not doing something) in order to pursue its Purpose, is a Decider.

Deciders are therefore found throughout organisations, and from top to bottom. They include directors, executives, managers and supervisors and in the government sector, everyone from Prime Ministers and Presidents to those at the work face developing policy and delivering services.

And, of course, at the personal level, everyone is a Decider in pursuit of their own well-being and that of their families.

 But Who Makes A Good Decider?

It’s a tricky business being a Decider. That’s because all Deciders face certain broad realities:

  • Only by making decisions can an organisation (or individual) pursue and realise their Purpose. And yet,
  • No decision can ever provide total certainty as to its immediate or ultimate effect.
  • Not all decisions have equal importance. And hence,
  • The decisions that Deciders make require sufficient certainty according to their importance.

It follows therefore that the best Deciders are those who:

  1. are always clear as to the higher Purpose of their organisation or, on personal matters, clarity about their own vision;
  2. are able to test their tentative decision against that Purpose and to therefore also understand the relative importance of the decision;
  3. are ever mindful of uncertainty and therefore, what is fact and what is assumption;
  4. recognise the many forms of uncertainty in relation to each decision including that the future may be very different to the present (especially where implementation of the decision will continue into the future);
  5. understand the many ways to reduce uncertainty, if that is required;
  6. appreciate that there is often a trade-off between greater certainty and the costs of achieving this (both financially and in terms of foregone opportunities);
  7. are mindful of the environments (i.e. the context) in which they are making the decision and in which it will be implemented;
  8. have an instinct to engage with others in the course of making decisions to gain knowledge and create and test options, and are skilled in conducting those conversations in a way that encourages participation;
  9. understand that all Deciders use the same method – what in the book Deciding is described as ‘the universal method of decision-making’;
  10. recognise that decisions have primary and secondary components – those intended to deliver the desired outcome, and those that make it more likely that what is desired, is what is achieved.