Conquering Culture of Indecision

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Conquering a Culture of Indecision Some people just can’t make up their minds. The same goes for some companies. Leaders can eradicate indecision by transforming the tone and content of everyday conversations at their organizations. by Ram Charan Formerly on the faculties of Harvard Business School and Northwestern’s Kellogg School, Ram Charan has advised top executives at companies like GE, Ford, DuPont, EDS, and Pharmacia. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including What the CEO Wants You to Know: How Your Company Really Works (Crown Business, 2001). The job of the CEO, everyone knows, is to make decisions. And most of them do— countless times in the course of their tenures. But if those decisions are to have an…show more content…
These mechanisms set the stage. Tightly linked and consistently practiced, they establish clear lines of accountability for reaching decisions and executing them. Follow-through and feedback are the final steps in creating a decisive culture. Successful leaders use follow-through and honest feedback to reward high achievers, coach those who are struggling, and redirect the behaviors of those blocking the organization’s progress. In sum, leaders can create a culture of decisive behavior through attention to their own dialogue, the careful design of social operating mechanisms, and appropriate follow-through and feedback. It All Begins with Dialogue Studies of successful companies often focus on their products, business models, or operational strengths: Microsoft’s world-conquering Windows operating system, Dell’s mass customization, Wal-Mart’s logistical prowess. Yet products and operational strengths aren’t what really set the most successful organizations apart—they can all be rented or imitated. What can’t be easily duplicated are the decisive dialogues and robust operating mechanisms and their links to feedback and follow-through. These factors constitute an organization’s most enduring
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