At MOSTLY AI we value transparency and ownership. Effective decision-making is a critical skill that is required in all aspects of life, whether it's personal or professional. Making the right decisions can help individuals and organizations achieve their goals, while poor decision-making can lead to negative consequences.
This page provides a simple approach on how to make decisions and who should do them.
The Vroom-Yetton decision model is a popular tool that helps individuals and teams make better decisions. This model is based on the idea that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to decision-making, and that the best approach depends on the specific situation.
The Vroom-Yetton model distinguishes between five different types, depending on the situation and the level of involvement:
Autocratic Type 1 (AI): Leader makes own decision using information that is readily available to him or her at the time. This type is completely autocratic.
Autocratic Type 2 (AII): Leader collects required information from followers, then makes decision alone. Problem or decision may or may not be informed to followers. Here, followers' involvement is just providing information.
Consultative Type 1 (CI): Leader shares problem to relevant followers individually and seeks their ideas and suggestions and makes decision alone. Here followers do not meet each other and the leader’s decision may or may not reflect the followers' influence. So, here followers' involvement is at the level of providing alternatives individually.
Consultative Type 2 (CII): Leader shares problem to relevant followers as a group and seeks their ideas and suggestions and makes decision alone. Here followers meet each other, and through discussions they understand other alternatives. But the leader’s decision may or may not reflect the followers' influence. So, here followers involvement is at the level of helping as a group in decision-making.
Group-based Type 2 (GII): Leader discusses problem and situation with followers as a group and seeks their ideas and suggestions through brainstorming. Leader accepts any decision and does not try to force his or her idea. Decision accepted by the group is the final one.
Most critical to successfully implement the concept is to be vocal about the decision style you will apply.
You can use phrases like:
“I am collecting information and assess the situation later”. (AII)
“ It is important that we are all onboard with this decision” (GII)
But it can also be true that the optimal decision style isn´t obvious at the beginning and this is ok but should be ackknowledged.
“ I would like to reflect on your input and will come back with the path forward”
When we refer to “Leader” we don´t mean a member of the leadership team or your manager. We are referring to the directly responsible individual (DRI). This can be a project manager, people manager or every manager of one (YOU). Regardless of the role you can apply the Vroom Yetton Model.
DRI - Directly Responsible Individual
The concept of Directly Responsible Individuals (DRIs) can be a powerful driver of ownership and accountability within an organization. We can expect ownership only when we give ownership and this includes taking decision and OWN the consequences (Good & Bad)
DRI refers to the person who is ultimately held accountable for the success (or failure) of that project.
The DRI might be a manager or team leader, they might even be an executive. Or, they may themselves be individually responsible for fulfilling all the needs of their project. The selection of a DRI and their specific role will vary based on their own skillset and the requirements of their assigned task. What's most important is that they're empowered. We foster a culture where DRIs are willing to put their ideas in the open. This enables feedback from a broad range of diverse perspectives, which the DRI can take into account and choose how (if at all) it shapes their thinking.
While the DRI is the individual who is ultimately held accountable for the success or failure of any given project, they are not necessarily the individual that does the tactical project work. The DRI should consult and collaborate with all teams and stakeholders involved to ensure they have all relevant context, to gather input/feedback from others, and to divide action items and tasks amongst those involved. While they're empowered to make all final decisions, they should know how and when to trust in the experience and judgment of their teams and peers (see Vroom-Yetton model above).
By giving individuals the authority and resources needed to make decisions and drive them to completion, organizations can streamline the decision-making process and increase accountability and ownership, ultimately leading to greater success and achievement of organizational goals.
The same concepts (Vroom-Yetton & DRI) apply for team management (multiple people involved) as well as for self management (Manager of one)
If you are curious on this topic, we recommend further readings: