A discussion of decision-making in the reality of today's changing economic environment. Cut today, but make sure to position those reductions in the context of your strategic objectives in the future.
We've gone from doing projects with teams...then migrated to portfolio management...and now (because of the economy) to decision making at a higher level than just the new product portfolio, rather this is Strategic Decision-Making to reduce operating costs while positioning for future growth.
These are the major decisions that support the present or modified Strategy. These decisions in turn require hundreds of decisions at the lower levels in order to stay aligned with the highest level (Strategic) or directional decisions.
There's 3 "types" of decisions: (1) Go or No-Go...(2) choose among available alternatives....(3) create alternatives (through brainstorming or synectics)… then choose the "right" one. Each decision type requires a clear statement of the outcome or goal. And then prioritized objectives or criteria with which to evaluate the decision alternatives.
In each decision type we are trying to prioritize the alternatives based on how they best meet our objectives, which in turn drive the desired outcome. In this case, a strategic decision or a series of decisions that lead to a more cost efficient operation.
Once the "right" strategic decisions are made, work is done at the subordinate levels to make sure those decisions align with the strategic ones. Effective implementation of those decisions SHOULD be overseen or carried out by subordinate management. Of course, this is typically where it “goes off the rails.” Alignment does not happen.
The decision-making process has to work at all levels from Strategic on down. A process that examines and selects best "options" in the best of times (to optimize growth) and also in the worst of times to preserve "core" capabilities and competencies while positioning for future growth… thus ensuring (in both scenarios) that they stay aligned with Strategy.