Inertia + the veto: when organizations can't move forward

By William Seidman We’ve been looking at how organizations make decisions — and how they fail to decide. Often the executive has officially empowered people to make decisions.  We like to ask these people who, in addition to them, is participating in the process. They answer “We are!”  but often the true decider – the person with the veto – is not on the list or in the room. Committee members are empowered right up to the moment of final approval and then — they aren’t, anymore. Inaction by committee: the group has to agree to move forward, including people who join the meeting who have no role in the program or decision. Almost anyone can say “no” but almost no one can or will say “yes.” Many executives don’t seem to be comfortable making tough decisions involving risk or intangibles. The veto is a “No” and, often, we see that — to move forward — a “Yes” is needed.]]>

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