Technology and business processes have been advancing at an exponential rate, especially since the pandemic, meaning that many of them are no longer fit for purpose.By Rabee Asous (Pictured), Chief Strategy Officer & Strategy Consultant at CRONUS

One key example of this is the decision-making process which has been governed by a handful of individuals at the top of an organisational hierarchy for years. This approach is no longer appropriate for today’s fast-paced and evolving business landscape and prevents organisations from remaining competitive. Instead, companies must put collaboration at the heart of their decision-making process and begin to democratise it before they get left behind in a wave of innovation. 

The decision-making process has moved beyond solely senior executives

Moving away from decision-making processes that rely on a handful of senior executives can unlock endless opportunities for businesses, but to fully understand these benefits, it can be useful to consider why there is a need for this change in the first place.

The prime reason is that senior teams do not have as much insight into their organisation and any challenges they are facing as employees on the front line of the business. This lack of observability coupled with a reliance on senior management can stifle innovation throughout an organisation as business decisions will not be informed by individuals with specialised expertise. This top-down approach also forms strong hierarchical barriers which prevent collaboration and open communication, in turn limiting organisational agility. 

Not only this, but businesses that rely solely on senior executives will struggle to identify new challenges and adapt to the ever-changing business landscape due to this inflexible decision-making process. As a result of senior executives lacking first hand insight into their business operations, they will not be able to facilitate timely decision making, which in turn acts as a barrier for innovation.

Inclusivity promotes innovation

Organisations that take the leap and transform their decision-making process will benefit from organisational evolution, increased agility, transparency, and innovation.

Opening this process to the wider team has a direct impact on your organisation’s productivity levels as it increases trust and fosters transparency, in turn driving an open culture throughout the organisation. Many studies have revealed that businesses with this culture reap the benefits of a 17% increase in productivity and a 21% increase in profits. It also has a direct impact on recruitment as research has revealed that 32% of employees left their new jobs within 90 days as a result of a substandard company culture. Organisations with a strong culture are attractive to potential employees, meaning that an open communication can be extremely useful from a recruitment perspective.

As decisions become a collaborative effort, senior executives will notice that they are being made more quickly and effectively because of the first-hand knowledge that is being leveraged. This increased agility will allow businesses to remain competitive against a backdrop of uncertainty and economic challenges. 

By making collaboration a key component of your decision-making process, senior executives will be able to leverage their team’s first-hand insight and make decisions that will allow the business to truly thrive. It enables for more creative ideas to be generated and this increased level of innovation will also trigger organisational evolution. The business will in turn be able to evolve more vigorously and remain competitive.

How businesses can begin to augment this process 

There are two main ways in which businesses can begin to evolve their decision-making processes, and these are by:

  • Utilising purpose-built strategy execution management (SEM) technology
  • Putting processes in place to ensure that decisions include more people throughout the organisation

Purpose-built SEM systems are designed to help organisations to manage both their decision-making and operational processes. This software helps to ensure that specific objectives are met and that any challenges are swiftly addressed to keep businesses consistently on the right track. These systems break down both hierarchical and geographical barriers and provide collaborative idea management capabilities whereby employees can discuss, submit, or vote on ideas. It helps to greatly increase the number of perspectives that are factored into the decision-making process, in turn increasing innovation within the business. The solution itself also provides real-time updates on any ongoing decisions within the organisation which drives an open culture while promoting transparency and efficiency.

To ensure that this process is consistently successful, senior executives within an organisation must actively advocate for the process and encourage open communication as this will add credibility to the process. Through the integration of purpose-built SEM systems, businesses can harness the power of their entire workforce to navigate an ever-changing business landscape and ensure they are primed for success.