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Making Decisions for Optimal Outcomes

Me and a well-regarded international CIO recently discussed the challenge of decision-making during unprecedented periods of uncertainty. This uncertainty initially resulted from the pandemic (shortage of talent), conflict in Europe and general geo-political uncertainty.

Employees are thinking more about their organisation’s role within society.

An example is Pat Cummins’s decision to not participate in advertising commercials for fossil fuel energy company Altina – sponsors of the Australian Cricket team (article). There have been further examples of active non-participation by others.

What are the decisions for optimal outcomes?  

There are some factors to consider when choosing to either inform, or involve, employees in decisions and conversations:

  • Leaders need to decide when to inform teams of compliance-based decisions that have been made. Context must be included within this communication.

  • Conversely, leaders need to determine when genuine two-way dialogue can occur. This dialogue will create an opportunity for teams to buy into 'the ask' – and buy in is likely to result in optimal outcomes.

Emerging leaders sometimes feel uncomfortable with two-way dialogue as it runs the risk of initiatives, or their preferred approach to initiatives, not being realised.

However, if a leader is unable to engage, listen and adjust to their employee community, the chance of success for any initiative is likely to be slim.

Further, with the talent shortage, key resource retention is at risk if an initiative is pushed onto a community.

Two-way dialogue is essential in creating an engaged employee group, and if people don’t buy in or truly believe in an initiative, it is probably best to rethink, as it is very unlikely to achieve the desired outcomes.

Featured in my VLOG this week, this straightforward matrix can help leaders qualify how to approach communication/buy in scenarios.

There are plenty of more practical frameworks in Making Life Happen.


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