While we transcend towards the era of the millennial work-force, garnering a new approach towards productivity and competitive advantage; the thought leaders and the Executive Management Team(s) are measuring the effectiveness of the decision-making process within their organization(s).
It has been over a decade, which the so called economic slowdown has unveiled its existence from the lexicon of economics. The burning inferno that has led to the fall of many big corporate giants a decade ago, has given comfort to many other corporates to adopt such economic changes in their organization fitment. They have begun to assess such modifications either by way of Consolidation or closing shops, re-restructuring of key business growth enablers, decentralization of activities which are transactional and centralization of functions which are strategic in nature.
The fact remains that an Executive Decision does get exercised to control the mutilation and save thousands of jobs than not agreeing on parting some key employees. Organizations have moved towards taking radical choices unilaterally to survive during this lean period.
The making of an effective Executive Decision for survival: The 5 step approach:
1. Sensing Stage: Learn about the potential for danger in advance whether or not your organization could potentially face it:
- The Executive Decision-Maker must possess this art not by chance or trend but by virtue
- Prepare in advance – build the rescue teams with high potential leaders in the league to second the Executive
- Study the financials of the company Ipso Facto without covering any facts or risk that can be potential threats
- Keep emotions away, but be humane while taking decisions which will have a contagion impact on others
2. Agenda has to be outcome and value based:
- Value people for their contributions and achievement and not loyalty
- Be judicious in taking steps which are radical, but which can lead to a long term benefit
- Have a strong performance measurement system which will surpass the phenomena of false acceptance and false rejection during re-structuring
- Identify fragments in the overall value chain of the organization and re-engineer by leveraging technology
3. League of the extra-ordinary gentlemen: Choosing the right Executive to lead the committee is the key towards building an effective team. Executive Decision(s) are mostly seconded by Top Leaders in the organization. The competent executive(s) should be:
- A visionary with a proven success story
- One who has a good knowledge of organization maturity
- Pathfinder - with a factual bent of mind & one who inherits a strong value proposition
- A leader who has a strong know-how of his or her organization’s financial scorecard
- One who has been a survivor of a tsunami, a bounce back attitude is needed
4. Robust people policies and procedures guarding the Executive Decision: As a part of the Executive Decision-making Committee; the head of the HR Department must have the agility and maturity to develop, formulate and implement employee friendly people policies:
- A policy that exhibits commitment, sensitizes impact by providing severance, taking care of the interest of the employees who may be a part of the consolidation process
- A policy that will enable the organization to be guarded in case of arbitration and legal proceedings from the dissented employee(s)
- The operating procedures has to be swift, less complicated and easy to execute
- A talent review board should be appointed to assess the good talent and replace the non-performers with the ones who have shown consistency in their performance Y-o-Y
5. Executing the Executive Decision: The Executive Decision once agreed unanimously must be ready to take-off, no matter what the consequences will be in future. The intent has to be prioritized and commissioned with approval of the experts such as the board members, legal advisors, management team and the shareholders wherever applicable.
- The communication channel has to be effective and must take the top-down approach
- Engage in an honest dialogue to foster better understanding of the situation and gain confidence of the employee
- Eradicate uncertainty – in a crisis situation, ensure that information passed is legitimate and with updated and specific information
- Bear in mind any legal and other restrictions on the dissemination of certain information relating to the crisis
- Do not base the messages on the views of management alone. Be sure to take into account the economic crisis, current state of affairs, media impact and negative publicity that may take shape
Finally, to conclude, an Executive Decision is predominantly one of the most difficult stages an Executive may come across in his/her career during the decision-making process, which can lead to a Right or a Wrong decision. But, this will certainly be an experience that can be added in the resume while taking up new assignments, as the most promising Contender.