Sunday, 12 June 2011 00:00

Decision Makers, Shakers, and Fakers

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Got 'Tude?

Decisions, deshmisions, what is the big deal? Anyone can make a decision! Hardly. After years of working with ineffective initiatives and consternated companies, I have a healthy respect for the D-word. It is all about the seven 'tudes—ineptitude, attitude, fortitude, altitude, aptitude, incertitude, and vicissitude. Some organizations obtrude the 'tude in which they are imbued, while others are denude of a common 'tude.

Ineptitude

The saddest of decision failures is ineptitude. It is rarely unique to the rank and file and, since ignorance rarely needs companions, has well-paid company throughout the hierarchy. In this model, indecision is rooted in the inability to comprehend complexity and decisions are made with forethought, sincerity, and blissful ignorance. To the amazement of the bewildered maker, the results are disastrous.

Attitude

The heart of the decision style is an entertaining reflection of the decision-maker's personality. An acquaintance, with a name something like Tony Giovanni (not his real name, but with enough similarity for you to get the point), once boisterously announced, "I use the Sicilian style of decision making." A few people chuckled and no one questioned the meaning of the statement or any of his decisions.

The autocratic style ranges from the benevolent to oppressive dictator. Your alignment with his or her declaration shapes your view of which end the scale the leader lies.

Consultative managers treating teams as egalitarian societies are slow to the conclusion, but infrequently encounter difficulties rallying the team to support the direction.

Fortitude

Flip-flop, waffle, or waiver, whatever you call it, it is a decision's death. Even the best decision needs a manager with the gumption to stay the course and inspire the team to continue. Few decisions are easy and most are missing the band of pompom laden cheerleaders supporting the direction. The decision maker must have fortitude and tirelessly rally the troops and maintain direction.

Altitude

The common belief is that the further up the hierarchy the easier it is set direction and make a decision. Newly promoted managers are often paralyzed by their distance from the details, relying on data developed and understood by others. Title does not preclude ignorance, ineptitude, or indecision.

Aptitude

Experiential knowledge is superior, but we cannot be experts in everything, especially in fast-paced business environments that change on a moment's notice. Leaders must delegate and divorce themselves from the details and glean the minimal morsels of knowledge to make the right decision. The ability to learn, to adapt, have vicissitude, is crucial in coming to quick and accurate conclusions.

Incertitude

Lack of certainty or weak executive direction lead to inaction—the decision to do nothing results in floating rudderless in the sea of societal whim. The business is left bouncing and bobbing until the nausea drives everyone retching toward the rails looking for the first opportunity terra firma.

Vicissitude

Morphic, malleable, and mutable are key traits of remarkable teams, leaders, and companies. Adaptive decisions, agile management, nimble teams, and superlative communications are the ingredients that allow companies to adjust rapidly to the future's needs.

What is your trait?

Ideally, living in the range between vicissitude and certitude, open and agreeable to change, yet knowing when to set direction is the answer. People do not need to agree with the decision; they need to agree to follow it. Shortly after joining any project, I tell a little story. "There are only two types of people on this project—those of that will love me and those of you that won't. No one will be in the middle ground; although, some of you will, on occasion, transverse that chasm... sometimes multiple times in a single day."

Now it is your turn, tell us your decision-making style, how it serves you, and the ways it inspires the ones around you.

Read 13769 times

Related items

  • Strategy-Execution Gaps

    The statistics on strategy execution are dismal:

    • 59% of middle managers fail at resolving conflicts in corporate strategy.
    • 45% of middle managers cannot name one of the top five corporate goals.
    • 64% of cross department/functional issues are poorly resolved.

    And maybe as you could expect from this:

    • 53% of companies cannot react timely to new opportunities.

    You do not need to be a rocket scientist to know that this trajectory is not going to launch most companies’ latest strategic plans successfully. In fact, these data might make you feel that middle management would be better suited as test dummies for the next generation of manned space-vehicle. Granted, the data show there is a dearth of leadership in middle management, but executive tier has a culpable hand.

  • Success vs Culture

    The other day a Latvian student contacted me for my views the connection between culture and success criteria—an important and intriguing topic. After working in Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Israel, United States, and Canada, I wear many scars of both blatant and subtle cultural violations. I also know that within a culture one person's success is often another person's failure. So, after dispelling concerns about clicking on some random email link, I completed her survey (please feel free to take it yourself). In the process, I struck up a friendship with the student, Kristine Briežkalne, who is studying at Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration . She has some interesting views and presented me with a Venn diagram showing four frames to a project (business, client, project management, and growth perspectives) and how they intersected. As the diagram is part of her Master's thesis, I will let you ponder the how to label the overlapping areas (an eye-opening exercise).

  • Kill The White Knight

    There is a reason we do not teach classes on fixing failing projects. Many a cynic feels that we simply do not want to teach our trade, however, our reason is far nobler—we should be teaching prevention rather trying to create white knights to save the day. It is the same philosophy as building a fence at the cliff's edge rather than an emergency room at its base. Our language is replete with idioms telling us to look past the symptom and address problems at their root cause. 'An ounce of prevention versus a pound of cure' or 'a stitch in time saves nine.' Please, feel free to supply your own in the comments. Unfortunately, most of our businesses loathe this philosophy, waiting to address an issue until it is irrefutably broken.

  • The Executive-Project Manager Gap

    It was such an innocuous question, "Working on an article; what is the biggest problem you see with project governance at orgs? Can you comment?" Can I comment? Really? That is like cheese to a mouse. Where could I start—bureaucracy, draconian process, poor executive sponsorship, disengaged leaders? Plenty of fodder, because they all lead to project failure. I fired off, "Creating an over bureaucratic morass stifling innovation & implementing process instead of cultivating leaders." Then the maelstrom started and it went directly to the gap between the executives and projects managers. Naomi Caietti, Robert Kelly and I had a great conversation. Most of the thread is below.

  • Disband Your PMO

    After nearly 30 years of project work, I struggle to understand the role of a project management office (PMO). Even though, I have written of the pros and cons, and read a plethora of articles, opinions, and how-to guides little has been done to convince me that the PMO is reducing project failure. It seems to be nothing more than a tool to fill a void in leadership? Even the acronym, which is so widely thrown around, has little meaning as the "P" has no less than four meanings. It is an executive's crutch for their lack of understanding in how projects work. These, like other, unattended holes in the corporate accountability create opportunities for new and greater bureaucracies and empires that further obfuscate accountability.

Leave a comment

Filling Execution Gaps

Available Worldwide

Filling Exectution Gaps cover

Filling Execution Gaps is available worldwide. Below are some options.

 

PG DirectLogo
Limited Time Price $20.99
Amazon logo
Book or Kindle
Flag of the United States Canadian Flag Flag of the United Kingdom Irish Flag Deutsche Flagge
Drapeau Français Bandiera Italiana PRC flag
Japanese flag
Bandera de España
Flag of India
Bandera de México
Bandeira do Brasil
Flag of Australia
Vlag van Nederland
DeG Press Logo
Barnes and Noble Logo
Books a Million Logo
Booktopia Logo
Worldwide: Many other
book sellers worldwide.

Rescue The Problem Project

Internationally acclaimed

Image of RPP

For a signed and personalized copy in the US visit the our eCommerce website.

Amazon logo
Buy it in the United States Buy it in Canada Buy it in the United Kingdom
Buy it in Ireland Buy it in Germany Buy it in France
Buy it in Italy Buy it in the PRC
Buy it in Japan
Book sellers worldwide.

Upcoming Events

Other's References

More Info on Project Recovery

Tell me More!

Please send me more information
on fixing a failing project.

Sitemap