The Semco Style 5 Principles to transform the way we work
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Shared Decision Making

Reduces risks and mistakes

Growth and profit are a product of how people work together – Ricardo Semler

In a Nutshell


In traditionally structured organizations, one person takes responsibility for decision making. It’s the managers or top-level leaders who get to make the final call. They make decisions, which filter down to each level in the company hierarchy.

Managing in these conditions can be highly stressful. The responsibility weighs down on the shoulders of the individual who make decisions. And, when mistakes happen, the blame falls squarely on the decision maker. This system forgets to acknowledge that everybody, no matter how accomplished, will make a mistake at some point – even when they act in the best interests of the company.

Managers, then, have to function under high-pressure where they need to watch and measure every decision. Most managers find themselves worrying about and fearing an inevitable mistake which could potentially derail their career. This traditional structure of decision making stifles innovation and creativity. Why? Because people are too afraid of failing or being wrong, and play it safe instead of taking the risks innovation requires.

An alternative approach is to create the space for shared decision making. Now, this doesn’t mean at every decision point you have to bring the whole company and all the employees into the picture. Instead, distribute the decision making power among all the relevant stakeholders and encourage them to take the time to discuss, debate and arrive upon the decision that makes the most sense



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