Something to read and reflect on further is what are the ideal behaviours of a senior decision-maker in an organisational context.

It makes sense to me that a decision-maker would want to encourage all people who may have relevant information to speak their mind.

For example, if you are a wine-producer, you’d want to hear from the grape-grower, the grape-harvester, the mixer, the cask-maker to hear what are the variables which need to be tweaked to maximise the next season’s crop.

This wine-making analogy helps us understand that the complete truth about anything is rarely in the head of one person – instead, many people have different components and perspectives, all of which have some value.

Where the wine-making analogy has limited relevance in an organisational context is the extremely hierarchical structures that characterise large organisations.

The wine-maker (the decision maker) is one level removed from the informants, but in an organisation, a decision maker might be three or four levels higher than the people who may have useful information.

The expected behaviour, then, of a senior decision maker would be to ensure that communication flows unfiltered from all informants to the decision-maker, or to include all informants in all discussions.

Any views that are at first glance counter to others should be amplified, and given “air time” to be considered fully – and then rejected or accepted.

I’ll develop this idea further – it is a bit clumsy and rambles on.

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