Three Principles of Empowered Decisions
Empowering employees to make decisions is the best way to grow an effective and innovative business. This fact makes decision making one of the most underrated skills in business life. The belief that decision making should be made at the top and filter downwards inhibits innovation. So, if innovation is not important to your business please stop reading now.
Firstly, ensure that everyone understands their role and where their sphere of influence extends within the company. That is, how and where their work adds value, and how it overlaps with their own department and others. By understanding the impact their work has on the business and with the encouragement and latitude to make autonomous decisions (ideally data-driven) you will find that more often than not the decisions will be correct.
Secondly, set clear KPIs, give people an understanding of what good looks like and a focused, unified vision for the business – not from a single department or management team – will build organisation-wide innovation and momentum into the culture of the business.
Finally, remember this is a learned behaviour and the negative connotations have to be removed in order for it to be embraced. A blame culture is counterproductive if you want to promote and benefit from ownership and innovation. Empowering decision making means accepting that occasionally those decisions will go wrong. Then, there must be sufficient trust for people to accept responsibility without fear and learn to make better-informed decisions.
It’s equally important to recognise good decisions publicly and privately to promote awareness of outcomes that benefit the business.
Jim Cassidy is the CEO of Code Institute and has over 20 years in leadership roles in digital and technology-related industries. He is a strong advocate for the importance of a robust talent and skills strategy in driving business and enabling innovation.
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