Q: After I have made a decision, how do I communicate my decision to others who may disagree with it and make sure it is properly implemented?
A: This will take two very different tacks depending on if you are someone in leadership or a knowledge worker. As someone in leadership, you help set or define the culture of the organization. Look at your organizational structure and comprehend how information flows. Use these information channels to make sure all influenced by the decision receive the information and resources to implement the outcomes of the decision.
Know how the decision affects your rewards process. What motivates people to execute your enterprise's strategies? Audit the different personal or organizational cultures operating within your firm. These cultures affect belief systems, practices and behaviors that employees will use to implement your decision. Make sure the culture allows for dissent and challenging the decision in constructive ways. Employees want to know their insights and capabilities matter. Let their expert personal powers be resources for enhancing the decision.
If the decision is created by someone in the organization not in a leadership rank, implementation will take a different path. First, the knowledge worker should make sure the decision is sound by using decisionmaking tools like an Ishikawa diagram, force field analysis, workflow analysis and/or any other tools at their discretion that allow them to assess the integrity of the analysis. Get feedback from stakeholders. Discuss honestly alternatives which might execute the decision more effectively.
Create cultural and personal buy-in on the best solution, then prepare the decision for leadership's acceptance. Take the vetted decision to the appropriate leadership or the organization review process. Explain the tangible and intangible benefits of the decision and get approvals to make the changes in the organization's structures and strategies, then change affected elements framed within the decision.
In both cases you should follow through the basic "plan-do-check-act" decision process. Make sure voices who disagree or support the decision are included. Use an open and objective process that will mitigate negative responses.
Ernest Owens is an assistant professor of management at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.