Making Decisions

What’s a Decision?

A decision changes the way we do things today, in order to achieve the future outcomes we defined. An effective decision is one that generates results in 3-5 years.

Present

Current reality we face

Decisions

Change in our work

Future

Outcomes to achieve

Significant decisions will always trigger opposition. In fact, decisions of which everyone shows support are often declarative decisions, instead of executive ones. An executive decision reflects change in at least one of the following dimensions:

Resources

Change in the way we invest in our workforce or budgets.

Methods

Change in our internal procedures on how to do things.

Regulations

Change in rights & roles that individuals or companies are given.

Structures

Change in assignments of authorities, responsibilities, or outcomes.

Every executive action can be measured by the budget and the people affected by it (including budgets for employee salaries when their methods and the organizational structure change). An action that does not affect budgets or people is not an executive one, but rather, a declarative one. Leaders can discuss the general direction for the future without changing the course of action today. However, change is all about the tough decisions we face.

Drafting Decisions

It is essential that everyone can equally understand the decision; decisions should never be characterized through ambiguity. When necessary, you should assign responsibilities and define timetables. Different organizations might have different ways to allocate resources, define procedures, create rules, or change structures. Here are some decision-making examples:

70% of our trainings will be devoted to building new capacities for change management instead of networking activities.

Following the call for greater transparency, we will appoint a new transparency director to publish annual reports to all members.

We will invest $5m to upgrade our call center, so that all customers waiting longer than 2 minutes on the phone will receive a call back.

Starting next year, every citizen will receive push notifications related to every form, request, or procedure that involves one of the city departments.

New regulation will require that every business publish its policy of both equal opportunities and the share of minorities in its workforce.

You Don’t Need to Accept All Insights

On your site, you can choose to address each of the insights. You don’t have to accept the insights, nor do you have to match all insights with decisions. This is not a democracy; only you are in charge as the decision-maker. The insights might help you discover what works, but they cannot replace your discretion and knowledge. It’s better to frame your decisions in a way that helps your stakeholders act on them:

A decision should reflect change in resources, procedures, or structures.

A decision should change things of which you have control and authority.

A decision should pertain to the present, so that it can be almost instantly delivered.

70% of the marketing budget will be diverted to young couples.

Clear Decision

We should make more effort to reach out to young couples.

Clear Decision

Updating Decisions on the Site

Adding a decision: Enter the project, go to the admin interface, and click “Decide” on the left-side menu. If insights have been created, you can add a decision to each insight. After addressing the insight, you’ll be asked to assess its impact on your decision: did it change your thinking, support something you would have done regardless, or get completely rejected from its insufficient impact?

Publishing decisions: After you address the insights, you can post the decisions onto your site and email them to the participants. To share your decisions, enter the project, go to the admin interface, and click “Publish Decisions.” You can then decide whether to communicate your decisions via emails, social networks, or the site.

Changing decisions: To change a decision you already made, enter the project, go to the admin interface, and click “Decide.” Click on “change decision” to edit your text and the assessed impact of the insight. Note: emails with previous versions might have already been sent to the participants.

Measuring the Impact

After you made your decisions, the site will ask you to define each insight’s impact on your decision.

Changed

The insight changed your direction or helped you make a decision that you haven’t previously considered. If there is even one insight that changed a decision, the project will be defined as an impactful project. Participants who gave answers which connected to this insight will be defined as supporters.

Helped

The insight supported a decision that was going to be made, regardless of the project. Participants with answers linked to this insight will be defined as supporters of the decisions, but we’ll need at least one insight that changed decisions to define the project as influential.

Rejected

The insight got rejected because it cannot be implemented in the near future or there is no reason to believe it can work. Participants with answers linked to this insight will be defined as opposing your decision, and the entire project will be defined similarly.

A project with impact is a project where at least one of the insights changed decisions.

Questions & Answers

How do we calculate the percentage of influential participants?

In the “Decide” interface, you can find three figures about participants who added answers in the project:

Supporters: Participants with answers linked to an insight that changed a decision or helped to make one. If an answer has several highlights, we will look for one highlight linked to such an insight to define the participant as “supporter.”

Opponents: Participants with answers linked to an insight that you’ve rejected. If another highlight from their answer(s) did help or change a decision, the participant will be defined as “supporter.”

Unlinked: Participants who added answers in the project, but their answers were never linked to an insight, or the insight is still pending a decision.

How do we know that the project really had an impact?

We measure the impact of the project based on the reports given by the decision-makers. For each insight, the project admins need to define whether it changed a decision, helped to make a decision, or got totally rejected from being insufficient. If there were no decisions made in the project, its impact will not be presented at all.

Personal update on impact

Once a project admin publishes the decisions, we will offer to send a personal update on impact to each and every participant. The feedback email will detail the link among the participant’s answer, the collective insight, and the corresponding decision that was eventually made. Participants whose answers could not be linked to a specific decision will receive a general email. It will include the top 3 decisions that were made in the project:

Participants who receive feedback are more likely to take part in future projects. Therefore, even if you reject an insight, we strongly advise you to explain why you've made such a decision. Participants will receive this update as well.

Questions and Answers

Do I need to separately write each update on impact?

No. After you choose to send personal updates to participants on their impact with the corresponding published decision, the site will automatically merge the highlights from the original answers, the insights linked to these highlights, and the decision that was eventually made. Project admins will receive a similar message.

What should I write to participants whose insight was rejected?

We always recommend acknowledging the insight and explaining why it was rejected. It is always better to engage than ignore. In most cases, the participants will understand the project’s constraints and will be glad that you deeply considered their advice. Therefore, even if you chose to reject insights, we advise that you explain your thought process in making different decisions. There’s nothing you need to hide!

Why should I send a personal update on impact? Is it mandatory?

It is not mandatory. You can always uncheck this option when you are asked to share your decisions. However, we strongly recommend sending the emails and not leaving the participants in the dark. All of them dedicated their time to help you think about how to make change. Even if much of their advice was not helpful or accepted, updating them on what happened to their advice is the right thing to do. Sending personal updates on impact will also increase their willingness to help you in the future.

Closing the project

Once decisions are published, your project status will change to “Closed.” Participants can get access to all the knowledge collected from the project, including the insights and the decisions, but they will no longer be able to edit answers or create insights. You can always archive the project, so that it will not be displayed on your site homepage. There’s always the option to delete the project completely, in which case no one will be able to access it, even with a direct link.

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