3) More on Decision Making
In my earlier post I wrote about four styles of decision making – decisive, flexible, hierarchic and integrative.
During the 2004 US Presidential Election campaign, George Bush ridiculed John Kerry for being indecisive. Perhaps Kerry should have defended himself by stressing that he was flexible or participative (i.e. integrative).
Let’s see what Brousseau etc. write in their article…
“As you move up the ladder, you move further and further away from where the action takes place, so it is easy to lose touch with what’s really going on in the organization. It’s essential to use a leadership style that keeps information pipeline open and the data flowing freely, so you have access to the best information and analysis. That’s why the flexible and integrative styles dominate at the senior executive level.”
“At lower levels, the priority is to keep everyone focused on immediate tasks and getting the work done. At higher levels, that doesn’t work anymore. Decision styles become more about listening than telling, more about understanding than directing.”
Ok, the above are the views of Brousseau etc. How about my personal opinion?
I do agree that decisiveness is important in the time war, and Bush has billed himself as the President of War. But I gather that he needs to adjust his style when dealing with other issues, such as economy, diplomacy and environment.
Brousseau, K.R., Driver, M.J., Hourihan, G., Larsson, R. (2006). The Seasoned Executive’s Decision Making Style. Harvard Business Review, Feb 2006, 114.