Leadership and Decisions in Digitization: The No-Gos 8 Score List

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In times of the digital age and a complex world, the sustainability depends on swift and at the same time good decisions. They are the prerequisite for success. Why Company in terms of decision-making culture can no longer continue as before, this article shows.

Leadership and Decisions in Digitization: The No-Gos Leadership 8 Scores and Digitization Decisions: No-Gos 8 Scores

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Anne M. Schüller's Profile anne-m-schueller_portrait-mit-hutAnne M. Schüller is a management thinker, keynote speaker, business coach and multiple award-winning bestselling author. She has repeatedly been named Top Voice by Business Network LinkedIn.


New business hours also need a new culture of decision-making


Decision makers high up in the company were common in times of standard processes and continuity. In a complex environment, on the other hand, they become the bottleneck of an organization. Advance, individualized services and high speed are only feasible where as little time as possible passes between decision and implementation. So a new era also needs a new decision culture. Today's understanding of leadership is no longer about making decisions, it's about

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  • to make shared decisions,
  • shift operating decisions to the teams.

Many companies are still a long way from both. Here's an example: Acquisitions from 100 Euro in this company need the signature of the next superior. For this purpose, a form is complicated to fill out. In addition, only listed parts may be purchased, although much better suitable on the web would be much cheaper - and can be ordered with one click. To make matters worse, the boss is on vacation for two weeks, after which his work piles up. When the green light finally comes, the customer, whose job this part was necessary for, is gone. He could not wait any longer. In addition to the costs for internal process management, lost sales amount to 10.000 Euro. The normal madness in autocratic companies.

Shift operational decisions upwards? Tedious, expensive, dangerous


The further a decision is shifted "upwards", the more likely people are sitting there who have no idea about the matter. Here's another example: In the management meeting, the "Head of Legal" submits a legal matter for a decision. But the present heads of purchasing, production, marketing, sales, etc. lack any legal expertise. To secure an opinion is required. This makes decision-making processes tedious and expensive. Or, as bad as usual: According to the motto "I'll help you, then you help me" are purpose forged forges that pursue ego interests, but not serve the cause.

"It doesn't matter Senseto hire bright minds and then tell them what to do. We're hiring bright people to tell us what we can do. ”This statement comes from Steve Jobs. Many companies are still a long way from thinking like this. First they want the best employees and then they are managed as if they couldn't make their own decisions.

Managers do not have to be able to do everything


Managers need to know and know a lot, but not everything. Decisions "by virtue of an office" far away from the shot often go past the reality of life. And that's exactly how it works with the customer: regulated, tough, uninspired, 08 / 15. Apart from the cases where legal regulations make this necessary, why does it require the signature of one or two chiefs, even on the smallest occasions?

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Of course, the big strategic decisions are in the hands of management, but operational decisions are different. The technical competencies are above all the specialists in the team today. In order for their projects to succeed, they should make their own decisions in a self-determined manner. "Combining competencies and responsibility" is the name of this principle.

Why traditional decision-makers do not work anymore


Shifting operational decisions "up" is as if the coach had to shoot the penalty. And that's what stands in the way of success. Because:

  1. In a volatile business world, where everything is constantly moving, there are far more decisions to make than in the past. Thus, such a flood of decision-making processes comes to the managers that they can not cope even with the largest effort. >>> Ergo: Everything takes too long.
  2. In a complex environment in which the parameters change constantly, decisions have to be made whose scope can no longer be estimated. In addition, adequate information acquisition takes longer and longer. >>> Ergo: wrong decisions are made. Or they come too late.
  3. Where decision-making power is crucial to a manager, decisions, even when necessary, should not be constantly withdrawn or revised, because that would be interpreted as a weakness. >>> Ergo: Unfinished decisions are being maintained for far too long.
  4. Bad or wrong decisions are noticed first by the customer-oriented employees. However, since there are hierarchical dependencies and conflicts of interest (salary, promotion, leave request), such tips do not reach the top. >>> Ergo: Wrong stays long.
  5. New ideas, which the market desperately needs (and which the employees constantly have), are not carried upwards. Or the boss blocks them, hiding his true motives. >>> Ergo: Innovations do not take place.
  6. New ideas are filtered: The budget situation does not allow them, they are "too big", they "do not fit", they could cost the well-being of the leadership, they are politically unenforceable, they fail at departmental boundaries. >>> Ergo: The wrong innovations enter the market.
  7. In a classic departmental organization, a leader has little interest in optimizing more than their own area. After all, it has approved departmental goals that make supporting other areas unfavorable. >>> Ergo: You are pursuing ego goals instead of what would be good for the entire organization.
  8. Decision jam leads to more and more operational rushes. So if you are trapped in daily business, strategic tasks quickly fall by the wayside. In addition, decisions take so long that they are already outdated when they are finally hit. >>> Ergo: The future of the company is at stake.

Conclusion: The way out of the dilemma


So there is a lot against decisions from above in operational matters. And there is a way out of this dilemma: interdisciplinary, self-organizing teams. Then most of the decisions are made exactly where they belong: where the professionals sit, where you are very close to the customer, and where, with the slightest hint of mistakes, you can follow up very quickly.

Almost all operative questions can answer a team better and above all faster than a manager far away from the shot. Anyone who has the ear constantly on the market, also has a good sense of what the next big thing could be.

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