For our Dice Leadership Training program we are reading the book Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, On Conversation at a Time. This book tackles working on having the tough conversations we sometimes avoid. In reading the book I came across something interesting called the Decision Tree.
The author Susan Scott tells the story about when she was working early in her career her manager related the Decision Tree to her.
Think of our company as a green and growing tree that bears fruit. In order to ensure its ongoing health, countless decisions are made daily, weekly, monthly. Right now in your development, you have a good history of making decisions in these areas.
She then goes on to detail the four categories of decisions we make. The progress from the less critical to the more critical.
- Leaf decisions are made and carried through but we do not report on them.
- Branch decisions are made and carried through but we report the action to we take.
- Trunk decisions are made and reported before action can be taken.
- Root decisions are made jointly with input of many people. The decisions are important and if incorrect options are taken the organization could be harmed.
The decision tree analogy applies to each one of us at every level of the organization. We need to be cognizant of our choices and how they affect all of us. Not just the project or team we are on now or some task we are assigned to complete.
Susan explains the goal of the Decision tree has three parts.
- Help us identify what categories our decisions fall into.
- Guide employees with their professional development. We progress when decisions are moved from root to trunk and branch to leaf.
- A guide to help companies develop leaders at lower levels so upper level management can focus on other goals.
I see this being a great technique we can all use in our daily assignments. Sometimes we get in a hurry to complete something without considering our organization and its impact.