Posted by Lancing Farrell 960 words
This last post in the series on decision making discusses the importance of design operating mechanisms that promote free flowing and productive dialogue to enable decision making. The setting in which dialogue occurs is as important as the dialogue itself.
Ram Charan says this will be evident in the social operating mechanisms if people feel able to speak with ‘openness, candour, informality and closure’. He discusses each in turn:
- Openness means that the outcome is not predetermined. There is a willingness to hear all sides in a safe atmosphere of ‘spirited discussion, learning and trust’.
- Candour is willingness for people to speak the unspeakable, to expose unfulfilled commitments, to air the conflicts that undermine apparent consensus. People express their real opinions, not what they think team players are supposed to say. Candour helps eliminate the ‘silent lies and pocket vetos’ that occur when people agree to something that they have no intention of doing. It prevents reworking and revisiting decisions and reducing performance.
- Informality encourages candour. Formality suppresses it. Informality also reduces defensiveness.
- Closure imposes discipline. At the end of a meeting people know exactly what they are expected to do. It produces decisiveness by assigning accountability and deadlines to people in an open forum.
In local government there can be a notable lack of candour – speaking up can have consequences. Continue reading