A Leader's Framework to Decision Making

5351 WordsAug 25, 201322 Pages
www.hbrreprints.org Wise executives tailor their approach to fit the complexity of the circumstances they face. A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making by David J. Snowden and Mary E. Boone Reprint R0711C Wise executives tailor their approach to fit the complexity of the circumstances they face. A Leader’s Framework for Decision Making by David J. Snowden and Mary E. Boone COPYRIGHT © 2007 HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL PUBLISHING CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. In January 1993, a gunman murdered seven people in a fast-food restaurant in Palatine, a suburb of Chicago. In his dual roles as an administrative executive and spokesperson for the police department, Deputy Chief Walter Gasior suddenly had to cope with several…show more content…
Heavily processoriented situations, such as loan payment processing, are often simple contexts. If something goes awry, an employee can usually identify the problem (when, say, a borrower pays less than is required), categorize it (review the loan documents to see how partial payments must be processed), and respond appropriately (either not accept the payment or apply the funds according to the terms of the note). Since both managers and employees have access to the information necessary for dealing with the situation in this domain, a command-and-control style for setting parameters works best. Directives are straightforward, decisions can be easily delegated, and functions are automated. Adhering to best practices or process reengineering makes sense. Exhaustive communication among managers and employees is not usually required because disagreement about what needs to be done is rare. Nevertheless, problems can arise in simple contexts. First, issues may be incorrectly classified within this domain because they have been oversimplified. Leaders who constantly ask for condensed information, regardless of the complexity of the situation, particularly run this risk. Second, leaders are susceptible to entrained thinking, a conditioned response that occurs when people are blinded to new ways of thinking by the perspectives they acquired through past experience, training, and success. Third, when things
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