• Donald Davis

Speed Of Organizational Decision Making:“I feel the need, the need for speed”

Updated: Nov 6


Don Davis PhD, MBA




Today’s post is centered around the speed at which companies move or for a larger organization the slow pace at which an organization moves or changes direction. Most large companies change direction about as fast as an aircraft carrier can turn 90 degrees. The hierarchy and decision-making processes make it a challenge. For example, if you are in a large company you are destined to always be slow in taking action or reacting to change.


When you look at your organization:

  1. Can your organization expect to redeploy talent quickly to meet a shift in the environment?

  2. Have you launched a new business or product rapidly to meet demand?

  3. When improving productivity or shifting operations, has it been completed in less than a week?

  4. What is the decision velocity? Can it be measured in minutes, days or weeks?


There are several methods that organizations can use to meet desired outcome of these challenges:


Talent Deployment – Keep teams and decision-making processes small. Making decisions in a distributed fashion with clear rules so that teams can keep moving. Jeff Bezos implemented the idea of two pizza teams where teams could not be bigger than what you can feed with two pizzas.


Rapid Product Launch – The lean startup that was well described by Eric Ries illustrates how to first develop an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). The key to this is that these teams still will need the ability to decide what happens independent of a bureaucratic hierarchy. There needs to be leadership that will provide anchor points in the product development process.


Improve Productivity – Lean VSM (Value Stream Map) and a solid kaizen (change for the better) plan will allow you to kaizen one week followed by having the new process in place.

How would you design your organization so that it is made to move, change or adapt to processes that need to be improved?

Speed of Decision Making



How fast does your organization make decisions? Do you feel like you're always waiting for approvals or sign-offs? If so, you're not alone. Many companies struggle with their decision making framework, and it can be a limited input as a real productivity killer.


There are a few things that can be the root cause or contribute to slow decision making, such as:


-Complicated processes: If there are too many steps or approvals required, before bringing them up to the top management, as general rules it can take a long time to get through all of them.


-Lack of information: If decision makers don't have all the facts they need, something like more data, or relevant information to support the steps involved it can hold up the process.


-Fear of making the wrong decision: Sometimes people are hesitant to make a decision in case it turns out to be the wrong one. Influence outcomes by gathering various options by seeking more advice from others as evidence might happen if they take risks of deciding uncertain outcomes.


Whatever the reasons affect the fast decision, the importance of this article is to find ways to speed things up. Here are a few tips:


-Streamline your decision making process: Review your process and see if there are any steps that can be eliminated or streamlined.


-Make sure decision makers have been informed of all the data they need: Before the important decisions is made, make sure that all relevant information has been gathered and reviewed.



-Encourage risk taking: It's okay to make mistakes - they can be learning opportunities. Leaders should encourage their teams to take risks and not be afraid of making the occasional wrong decision.


Speed of decision making can be a real issue for businesses. By streamlining processes, gathering all relevant information, and encouraging risk taking, you can help to speed things up and keep your organization moving forward.




Decision Making Process

When it comes to making many decisions, there are a few different approaches you can take. You can go with your gut feeling, weigh the pros and cons, or use a more systematic approach.


Improve decision making or speed up decision making process by following the 6 Step Decision Making Process. This process is often used in business and military settings, which strictly require fast decisions and expect to be the best decisions implemented.










Here's a quick overview of the 6 Step Decision Making Process:

1. Define the problem or opportunity

2. Gather information and options

3. Consider risks and benefits

4. Make a decision

5. Implement the decision

6. Evaluate the results


Individual or Working Team

Decision making is a process that everyone goes through on a daily basis. Actually, our everyday routine is decision-based. Some decisions are small, like what to wear or what to eat. Other decisions are much more significant, like whether to accept a new job or buy a new house.


When it comes to making decisions, individuals or working teams face many different challenges. Depending on the size of the team and the complexity of the issue, different approaches may be required. In some cases, a consensus may need to be reached, while in others a single individual may need to make the decision.


According to Harvard Business Review states that there are four main types of decisions:

1) Programmed

2) Non-programmed

3) Policy

4) Strategic


No matter what kind of decision types you're facing, it's important to choose the right effort Decision Making Process for the situation.


Decision Makers

When it comes to making decisions, who is really in charge? Is it the person with the most authority, or the one with the most knowledge?


There are many decision types of decision-makers, and each has its own different strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few of the most common:


The authoritarian decision maker is the one who has the final say, no matter what outcome. They may not always have the best information or knowledge, but they make the decision and stand by it.


The expert decision maker is the one who relies on their own expertise and knowledge to make decisions. They may not always be right, but they usually have good decisions for the choices with that they also solve problems.


The consensus decision maker is the one who tries to get everyone to agree on a decision before it is made. This can be difficult, but it ensures that everyone, the majority has the same decision on board with the final choice. The best example from the leadership team is from political arrangements or democratic government.


The delegating decision maker is the one who delegates responsibility for making decisions to others. This can be a good way to ensure that decisions are made efficiently, but it can also lead to problems if the person delegated is not up to the task. Important decisions leaders usually do critical thinking before they implement it in the entire organization.


No matter what type of decision maker you are, there are pros and cons to every approach. The important thing is to find what works best for you and your team.



Examples of decision makers in corporate business set up:


1. The CEO or managing director: This is the ultimate decision maker in a company, and they decide the final say on all major aspects of the entire organization.


2. The board of directors: This group of people makes high-level decisions about the direction of the company. They usually have a wide range of experience and knowledge to draw from.


3. The management team: This team makes operational decisions about how the company runs on a day-to-day basis. They need to be able to work well together and make an effort to act with no room to wait.


4. Department heads: These individuals make decisions about their own departments, such as marketing, finance, or HR. They need to be able to understand the needs of their department and the company as a whole.


5. Team leaders: These people are in charge of a group of employees and need to be able to make decisions that will benefit both the team and the company. They need to be able to motivate their team and keep them on track.


Making decisions is never easy, but it's something that all business leaders have to do. The key is to find the approach that works best for you and your company.


High Velocity Decision Making


In business, time is money. The second nature is to act quick decisions, the more efficient your company will be. High Velocity Decision Making (HVDM) is a technique that can help you speed up your decision velocity.




HVDM is all about making decisions quickly and efficiently. To do this, you need to have a clear understanding of your goals, objectives, and desired outcomes. You also need to be able to identify the key stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. Once you have this information, you can start to make decisions quickly and efficiently.


There are five things to keep in mind when using HVDM:


1. Keep your goals and objectives in mind at all times. What are you trying to achieve? What is your end goal?


2. Identify the key stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. Who will be affected by the decisions you make? Who needs to be involved in the decision-making process?


3. Make sure everyone is taking action on board with the decisions you make. Once you've made a decision, it's important to communicate it to all of the stakeholders involved. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no surprises down the road.


4. Be prepared to defend your decisions. When you're making decisions quickly, there's always a chance that someone will disagree with you. Be prepared to explain your reasoning and justify your decisions.


5. Be flexible. HVDM is all about making decisions quickly, but that doesn't mean you can't change your mind later on. If new information comes to light or if the situation changes, don't be afraid to adjust your decision.


HVDM can be a useful tool in business, but it's important to use it wisely. When used correctly, it can help you make better, faster decisions. However, if misused, it can lead to problems down the road. Use HVDM sparingly and only when it's absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you might find yourself making more bad decisions than good ones.


If you would like to know more about ways that your business can make decisions faster please setup a discussion with us. We have helped organizations form clear frameworks around decision making that remove layers and speed companies toward results.



7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All