I like talking to Mike. He helps me to do my thinking in public as Steve puts it. We were talking about decision making and the process you go through. There is a lot of rot talked about decision making. Contrary to the belief of many the role of a manager, or leader, is not to make decisions. If this were true then the number of managers would be determined by the number of decisions to be made. As this is a number that no one ever records then this cannot be the case.
The role of a manager is to create an environment where decisions are made.
In thinking about my own role however I have come to the conclusion that I really only have to make one decision. Is the issue in front of me something that we should be involved in or not? Yes or no?
Of course this is a gross over simplification yet bear with me. I’m not talking about the decisions such as coffee or tea, left foot first or right foot but rather about those important business-shaping decisions. If the answer is yes and this is something we should be involved in then how do I help shape the outcome? If the answer is no then how do I work to get out of it?
As an example, should I be involved in the recent event on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease? On the face of it COPD may not have much to do with ICT, yet it is an issue that faces the county and so should be important to me as a senior leader within the local authority. So I should be involved and should work to find a way to bring the skills and talents that my team have to bear upon the problem. It may not lead to anything yet I should try to help.
On the other hand should I be involved in low value repetitive tasks. Our world is full of them and they clog up our ability to focus on higher value opportunities. So the answer is no. The ICT Services should not be involved in this kind of work yet it will take time to get them out of our system. I should focus my efforts on highlighting such types of task and work with the team to remove them or at least reduce their impact.
Everything is clear. I just have to decide to get involved or not.