How rigid is your organization’s decision-making hierarchy?

April 10, 2014 2 Comments

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks: How rigid is your organization’s decision-making hierarchy?

– Most power is consolidated at the top but some occurs at lower levels: 44%
– Power is distributed evenly according to capability and responsibility: 30%
– We have true command-and-control — all decisions come from the top: 24%
– Our hierarchy is very flat and decision-making power is broadly distributed: 3%

Consolidating decision-making power at the top cuts both ways. It can reduce risk for your organization by vesting that power with more senior and experienced people. It can also frustrate junior members of the team and slow down your decision-making process because everyone has to wait for a few people to make decisions. To achieve a better balance, evaluate decisions based on their size and risk. Push that decision-making authority as low in the organization as you can without increasing risk too much. You’ll be nimbler with less frustration and not as much risk as you might initially think.

Do you agree with these poll results?  Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.

2 Responses to “How rigid is your organization’s decision-making hierarchy?”

  1. JC Duarte says:

    Great article and I agree with the results states. Based on experience they seem right. Regarding consolidating (or not) decision-making, I would argue you need a process, hierarchy friendly (effective), if you deem to go that way with your company culture.

    Personally, I feel it’s the quality of the conversations, engagement & accountability (Workforce Agility) that will most effectively deliver frustrationless, nimble & the right decisions.

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