Turbo decision-making

I wrote the Board paper.

The Directors made their decision. They consulted with those that had an opinion. They made a choice with conviction and clarity and set a timeframe for implementation. Turbo decision-making!

How long did it take for others to reduce the scope and trade down the objectives? To build an alliance to minimise the strategic change embedded in that decision?

Not that long.


We ‘know’ that most people are naturally risk averse. Also, that people with responsibility laid on their shoulders to a degree that they are uncomfortable with, are even more likely to defend the status quo. The impact of change is systemically amplified for them.

So, in programmatic land, we do; stakeholder analysis, stakeholder management strategies, business change readiness assessments, appoint change champions etc.

But what about those businesses where the opposite happens?

Where, once the Directors decide it’s a green light, the managers give a whoop of excitement and immediately stay up all night getting a head start on the new direction? I have seen it happen. In small technology companies with no shortage of ambition. Where the primary role of the executive is to curb and direct the enthusiasm of the techies (rather than galvanising the managers to do something exciting and new)….

I used to own a Subaru Forester.

No one told me that it was an estate body on an Imprezza engine and drive-chain. That car was amazing. There may be quicker cars around but that was the only car I have ever driven where the accelerator had a ‘gain’ >1. I.e. When you just touched the accelerator the engine responded as though you had floored it. Compared to the diesel Volvo 7-seater it was like a rocket! It felt like it was always pulling on a leash and touching the throttle was permission to sprint…

Do we need to know what sort of response we are going to get to our decision? To know if it will be defensive or elated?


Or at least to have thought through both scenarios.

I claim that strategic decision making is generally pretty good – but it is often let down in the implementation. Which is why the Business Decision Design® model looks at all stages of decision-making to see where improvements can be made.

So, what makes the difference between a diluted response and an accelerated response?

In the Subarus, apparently, it is down in part to having ‘dump-valves’ through which extra petrol can be flooded into the cylinders instantaneously unleashing extraordinary power.

Oh, and the turbo-charger!

How do we design in ‘dump-valves’ of imagination, positive intention and energy to our business change programme? How do we turbo-charge the response?

Recruit some volatile people, show them the open road, wave the starter’s flag and stand clear?

Something like that.

Happy to discuss. It is about business decision design®.

Happy days

Link to the cover pic.



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