Democracies are totally overrated, really!

blog, management30

Again, to make my point: Democracies are overrated. Look at the Brexit for example. (And that is all I am going to say about the Brexit ). Some people believe everyone in an organization should be able to vote on any topic. I also used to think like that, when I started my career as a manager. However, that is nonsense, and a perfect way to prevent any progress in your organization. Additionally, it is as manager taking no accountability!

I believe in having people say in certain decisions or even better having them to make the decisions themselves. However, there are two things essential for me to have this in place. The people should understand what they are talking about, and the decision should impact the people who are involved in decision making.

If you don’t have any knowledge about a topic, how can you decide on a topic? Based on gut feeling? Let’s not go there. If you are a manager and you, need to decide on the new strategy, and you don’t have that much knowledge about it…  Wouldn’t that make you very nervous? It should, I think.

The second requirement, the decision will impact the people who are involved in decision making. If it impacts you, I know you will really make an effort to make the best decision. If the consequences of the decision do not impact you, it is easy. If you as a manager need to make a decision about which process the team has to use, and you are not involved in the daily operation, it is an easy decision. Why would you care? Scrum, Kanban, LeSS, SaFE, all frameworks can deliver results.    

The moment people know about a topic, and the decision has an impact on them, let’s get them involved.

Does that the majority needs to agree with the decision? No, I would favor for consent decision making. It is an essential principle from Sociocracy. In short, it means there are no objections that could stop or delay the organization in making progress towards the organizational goal.

Next time, a manager says we need to involve the people. Think first if they are knowledgable and if the decision impacts them.

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

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