Month: February 2018

Who’s decision is this?

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How are decisions made in your world? Does someone from the outside just dictate everything? Are you on a team of people that decide together? Do you have areas and projects in which you get to exercise authority? What does the day to day look like?

A couple of years ago, we found a decision making grid that looks something like this.

You can see that the grid looks at a person’s latitudinal authority + the step at which they are in the process. It’s helpful, especially as leaders, to clarify this as early as possible so that everyone understands who has authority and how close we are to a decision. I find this grid useful and hope maybe you will, too.

I was recently challenged to think more about the overall structure of an organization as well. There are some key terms we often think about: leadership and management. In some contexts, we talk about governance and administration. Perhaps, it’s important to make distinctions between these two so that we can understand our roles within organizations. A plethora has been written on leadership and management already. I’ll only add white noise, if I try to add to the conversation. I’ll just point out the metaphor of a ship. Some are responsible for the direction of the ship (leaders). They look ahead to the next steps and attempt to guide us that direction. Others are responsible for the inner workings of the ship in the present (managers). They do a great job of making sure everything is smooth sailing, so to speak. Governance and administration might be thought of similarly. When given governance authority, you’re responsible for the general direction of the ship. When you are given administrative authority, you’re responsible to make sure we continue in the direction as smoothly as possible. Distinguishing these types of roles can help with clarity and communication in your organization.