The consulting firm Bain & Company designed a model that describes the roles in a group decision and patented it under the acronym RAPID. The letters mean Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input and Decide.
I asked several top managers from various industries what are the pros and cons of the remote decision-making process. The fact that they identified several disadvantages and talked more about each can be a sign that the process is neither optimal nor qualitative.
+ All the advantages they mentioned relate to the effectiveness of the meeting. Remote meetings are “shorter , because you have them set in your calendar ; the meetings come one after the other , so you have to start and finish on time.” In addition, “no more time is wasted on all sorts of jokes” , they have a better information structure, because“people go straight to the point on Zoom” and because“we have learned to talk one at a time, to listen and to wait our turn to talk.” Among the best practices, a country manager identifies“the follow-up minutes, done immediately after the call (the boss usually does this, to keep conclusions in line with his purpose for the meeting).”
– Among the disadvantages, the most often mentioned is the lack of informal meetings, which makes “certain type of information that people might have learned by chance be less shared or not at all.”. In addition, “in the real office life, many decisions are made during the coffee break, with people exploring possibilities and seeking compromise.” Some managers have tried to fill this gap by “adding 15 minutes for small talk at the end of each Zoom meeting.” Another disadvantage is the “lack of engagement : face to face, you see when people want to say something and you have a chance to involve them in the conversation; you cannot do that if, on Zoom, the person turns off the camera.”
While working remotely, it is important to have clarity of roles in group decisions.
One common solution is to have a small decision making team, with clearly assigned roles, one of the most important being the decision driver, a person who guides the whole process.
Do not confuse this role with the person in charge of the final decision, usually the big boss; the decision driver is just the project manager of the decision.
Analysis paralysis is the tendency to act only when you are ultra-confident about the chosen solution can result from two psychological mechanisms: the fear of making mistakes and the belief that, choosing a solution now, we miss the chance of finding a much better one.
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