Decisions Are More Effective When More People Are Involved From the Start
“Why is it so hard to get people to change?” Red Hat President and CEO Jim Whitehurst says that’s one of the most common complaints he hears from fellow executives. “They and their boards make decisions and send out orders and then…nothing happens.” However, one of the most important things he has learned as CEO is the value of getting the company’s associates involved in creating solutions rather than just sharing the decisions with them after the fact and expecting them to take action. He calls this inclusive decision-making.

“By using simple technology like e-mail and online forums as an ally,” Whitehurst says, “we can reach out to far more people in the organization than can fit in any one meeting room and collect feedback on the ideas we are considering implementing.” He concedes that not every idea will be popular, and there is often quite a bit of debate. In general, though, people just want the opportunity to voice their opinions. They expect to be heard, but not always heeded, and even if they don’t agree with the decision that’s ultimately made, they will have had the chance to make peace with it and that will decrease the chance that they will fight it down the road.
Harvard Business Review (03/15/16) Whitehurst, Jim
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