I saw a tweet the other day, a photo of a new administrative dream team out celebrating their first round of administrative decisions (with the best hot dogs they could find). I wondered whether they had taken out any Decision Protection Insurance, so that their first set of decisions would not be met with suspicion, resistance, or second guessing by colleagues and/or constituents. Whether decisions be made around hiring, curriculum, student placement, teaching assignments, technology, facilities or anything in between, there are always a number of ripples that that emanate from them – whether or not they rock the boat depends on who made them and how. Following a few simple proven practices could help ensure that decisions (whether agreed upon or not) are transparent, better understood, and trusted. These simple steps can help ensure (insure?) that your decisions are met with open minds, understanding and confidence:
- Use a process: Using a systematic process to make your decision, like Decision Analysis, can help others understand the approach, considerations, and resulting conclusions.
- Make it visible: Recording your approach and rationale, as you go along, helps you explain your reasoning and conclusions.
- Include stakeholders: Allowing stakeholders to participate in the process allows people to provide their points of view and makes them more likely to have confidence and commitment in their successful implementation.
- Take the time to do it right: Time spent on a good process, is time saved from putting out fires.
These steps provide administrators with real “Decision Protection Insurance” – the confidence that they have made the right decision and the support of the people who it will ultimately effect. Making decisions is a large part of any administrative teams’ responsibilities, how do you ensure that their implementation will be smooth and successful?