Decision-making versus implementation

Decision-making versus implementation
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DR. ICHAK ADIZES explores the different qualities and skills needed to make a decision and then to implement it – when to be open-minded and when to be closed-minded, and how to find a common interest so that all stakeholders can work together to implement a decision.


JUST  THINKING AND FEELING


It is almost human, so to say, that a decision will be made but not carried out. Like a decision to start a diet, or exercising, or to stop yelling. For decisions that involve major change, there is a doubt whether they will be implemented.There are many courses that tell us how to make a good decision, but I have not seen any on how to implement what was decided. Business Schools, for instance, teach only how to make good decisions, whether it is in marketing, in strategy, or in any other field necessary for leading a company, but to my knowledge there is not one course on how to successfully implement decisions. Apparently, there’s an erroneous assumption that if we make a good decision, it will be implemented. It ain’t so. Often, very good decisions are made but we don’t implement them, and we implement decisions that we know are not good, like smoking, or over drinking. I suggest that what makes for a good decision are not the same factors that will cause efficient implementation. To make a good decision, you have to be open-minded. You have to listen to voices of dissension so that all necessary information is taken into account. For implementation, the opposite is required: Be close-minded. You have to be committed. You have to be focused and not waiver.



To make a good decision, you have to be open-minded.
You have to listen to voices of dissension
so that all necessary information is taken into account.



Many mistakes happen because people don’t distinguish between the two different requirements. Here’s an example. People might tell you, “It is a good decision,” but they drag their feet to implement it. The decision will be, at best, partially implemented, or altered, or not implemented at all. Worse, it may be implemented maliciously: they will sabotage the implementation.

Where is the mistake? What is happening?

For decision-making you need information, and judgment of what is important and what is marginal. For implementation you have to watch how the decision impacts the interests of those expected to implement the decision. There should be common interest among all stakeholders in implementation in order for the decision to be implemented in the spirit made.

Finding the common interest of all those necessary for implementation might be too much to ask. There can be an enormous amount of disparity in needs and expectations. It might even be impossible to bridge them all and arrive at a common interest.



If there is common vision and common values,
and there is mutual trust that all involved in the decision
will share in the fruits the decision yields,
one can assume the decision will be implemented.
Change will happen.




What to do?

There might not be a common interest, but if there is common vision and values, and trust among the parties that if the vision is reached all parties will benefit from it, implementation has a higher chance of happening. Trust is critical. The common interest now is to accomplish the vision and share the bounty created. If there is common vision and common values, and there is mutual trust that all involved in the decision will share in the fruits the decision yields, one can assume the decision will be implemented. Change will happen. On the other hand, if there are no common values and vision, and there is no mutual trust, the only way to implement a decision is through a dictatorial approach – command, control and threaten with punishment if the decision is not implemented. Implement with fear. It works in the short term but backfires in the long run. It is a choice we have to make.

Just thinking and feeling,
Dr. Ichak Adizes



Article by DR. ICHAK ADIZES


 

Dr. Ichak Adizes

About Dr. Ichak Adizes

Dr. Ichak Adizes is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading management experts. He has received 21 honorary doctorates and is the author of 27 books that have been translated into 36 languages. Dr. Adizes is recognized by Leadership Excellence Journal as one of the top thirty thought leaders of America.


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