The glue between efficient productivity and profitability is great decision-making. I do not think that a farmer has ever sown rice and harvested corn. In computers, the most common language is GIGO, meaning garbage in, garbage out. Usually, the decisions we make are our personalities, and yet very few people accept responsibility for their actions, their failures in business, or in any endeavor in which they have failed. They desire to blame others without remembering GIGO.
I have articulated the mystery that surrounds the lone decision-maker or the CEO who enjoys lonely decision-making and blaming his or her failures on the engineer or the accountant in his company. The new name for decision-making is participative decision-making. In this, the senior officers take part, but separately—the engineers, accountants, supervisors, workers and maintenance people form another group. Both platforms must have a dialogue format; there must be a writer or clerk, a vote taken on each discussion for its authenticity or viability, and in the end, the senior officers must compare their notes with the second group so that amendments can be made where necessary. The final product is now ready to be presented before the board of directors as a formal decision for the company. In a smaller company, this activity stops with the owner, but the owner must understand that two heads are usually better than one.
The CEO and his group must not be taken over by egos; the only time for pride in business is when business is doing well financially. Even then, business needs a lot of careful activity because “pride goes before a fall.” It is good to entrust the CEO with the decision-making responsibility, but it is the biggest risk a business can take because business is a collection of ideas. Therefore, it a discipline of collective learning and inquiry.
Any student, manager, or business owner who wants to use participative decision-making skills in his or her business or as a consultant in participative decision-making should attend a workshop at least twice and read about participative decision-making thoroughly and practice it from case studies.