Inside the Columbia School of Journalism
Simplicity and Enablement, at the Intersection of technology and my calendar


Brent Edwards has an interesting post on decision-making . What it speaks to has more to do with the problems of communication in organizations. He looks at the lack of competing alternatives, the lack of debate, and the silence of people who are part of the decision process.

Recently, I sat in on a meeting where the committee was describing to me a set of administrative problems within their organization. It was clear, and I believe they saw this too, that part of the problem is the lack of trust. The trust factor meant that people were not honest in what they said, and as a result, a certain perception of the problem became the defacto explanation, whether that was true or not.

As I asked some more questions, what emerged was the truth that the individuals most threatened by a certain course of action, or simply most threatened by an honest portrayal of the circumstances were the most aggressive in trying to keep the status quo. Instead of trust and honesty being at the center of the organization's relationships, it was turf battles that protected a minority group, and not the organization as a whole.

In this environment, decision-making is very difficult. It requires someone who ceases to look at the situation as a personal issue, and looks at it from the stand point of what is best for the orgnanization. It really points to the requirement of trust and honesty as essential for a healthy organization.

(HT: Bill Kinnon)

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