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Decision Free Management

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NOTE: This DF Method is in development. See also below.

Decision Free Management is about achieving desired outcomes against minimal resources by the utilisation of available expertise in the field of Management.

Decision Free Management may sound like a paradox. How to manage without decision making? But management is not about “decision making”, as is explained in this column.

A decision is an unsubstantiated choice (as explained here). A decision increases risk. Management has better things to do than increase risk. They should first and foremost create the conditions to fully utilise the expertise available to them. Let the experts avoid decisions (by substantiating choices), or explain why they propose a certain decision. In Decision Free Management the manager no longer makes decisions but approves or disapproves.

Decision Free Management:

  • Is about creating the conditions required to optimally utilise the available expertise (establishing a culture of no-decision-making)
  • Allows for the positive identification of those best suited to do so
  • Maintains the role of managers as “gatekeepers”, but instead of decision making managers are to approve or to disapprove.
  • Replaces decisions with substantiated choices, ensures experts make the decisions (for further approval/disapproval), and identifies decisions as risks to be considered for Risk Management

Decision Free Solutions is currently developing this method and would like to get in contact with any part interested in:

  • Co-developing DF Management
  • Analysing/evaluating the role of management in modern organisations from the point of view of DFS
  • Implementing the method of DF Management within (a segment of) the organisation

Interested?

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Decision Free Solutions empowers your organisation with new insights

The alternative to decision making is transparency.

Decisions are conclusions reached after careful thought. When something requires 'thinking' it is not transparent. Transparency allows organisations to manage by approval (instead of decisions).

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Het vrijmaken van resources is efficiënter dan kosten besparen

Om de concurrentie voor te blijven is het leveren van kwaliteit niet voldoende. Simpelweg “kosten besparen” leidt tot kleinere marges. Inzet van expertise doet het tegenovergestelde.

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That decisions increase risk is not semantics, it is logic.

That decisions increase risk follows from the dictionary definition and use of logic. Few experience decisions in this way, for various obvious reasons. These reasons don't take anything away from decisions increasing risk. The risk is for real.

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Everybody can manage risk, only few can minimise it.

In every organisation there are both identified and unidentified risks. To manage identified risks is straightforward. Everybody can manage identified risks. Which leaves the unidentified risks. Who will minimise these? Not everybody can.

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All explanations >
The alternative to decision making is transparency.

Decisions are conclusions or resolutions reached after consideration (the Oxford dictionary definition of ‘decision’). When something needs to be considered it means it is not transparent. Create transparency and what follows are not decisions but ‘the logical next step’. When something is transparent you don’t have to think. Transparency allows decisions to be replaced by approvals.

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Het vrijmaken van resources is efficiënter dan kosten besparen

In goede tijden is het eenvoudiger om goede marges te maken. In slechte tijden is je enkel verlaten op goede kwaliteit een uitdaging. Maar het simpelweg het mantra “kosten besparen” hanteren leidt tot een lagere kwaliteit en uiteindelijk kleinere marges. Het implementeren van DFS leidt tot een betere benutting van de beschikbare expertise, een verbetering van de kwaliteit, en dus uiteindelijk ook tot lagere kosten. Dit is hoe expert-organisaties de competitie voorblijven, en hun marges op peil houden.

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Leadership performance is easy to predict.

In every leadership-role the aim is to create the conditions to achieve the aims against minimal risk. The needed combination of experience and skills is always different. Simple observations help to identify the right person.

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Everybody can manage risk, only few can minimise it.

In every organisation there are both identified and unidentified risks. Unidentified risks occur e.g. when aims are not clearly understood, when it is unclear whether the right expertise is available, or used appropriately. All of which results in decision making. To manage identified risks is straightforward, to minimise risk you must avoid decision making. Which is what an expert does. But what does it take to become an expert?

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To stay ahead, freeing up resources beats cutting cost.

In good times it may be relatively easy to make profits. In bad times relying on quality alone can be challenging. But the approach of “cutting cost” will affect the quality of your solution, and margins will get affected. Implementing DFS improves the utilisation of available expertise, improving quality and (thus) bringing cost down. This is how expert organisations stay ahead of competition, and retain healthy margins.

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That decisions increase risk is not semantics, it is logic.

That decisions increase risk follows from the dictionary definition and use of logic. Few experience decisions in this way, for various obvious reasons. Many unsubstantiated choices are made based on experience or are educated guesses. We get a lot of decisions right. When the risk does occur, usually much later, we often fail to make the link with the decision. What is more, making decisions often makes us feel good. But the risk is still for real.

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