Efren Alvarez Galapon
How many major decisions have you made in your life so far to date? Were you aware of their implications or consequential results on you?
One nature of decision making is that it presents itself to us with only two options to choose from: either choice leads and brings us to a certain direction or destination and leaves the other opportunity forever including the rewards and benefits of taking the risk associated with it when chosen.
I have witnessed some form of pain resulting from making decisions experienced by senior officers of enterprises when they are presented with cases or situations that call for decisions—for example, acceptance or rejection of a one-time business opportunity but somehow exposes a company into high level of risk or appropriate settlement of penalty dues for not meeting Contract requirements instead of being black-listed by a Contract Awarder which means losing all future opportunities of being awarded with Contracts.
The pain of making major decisions can be gleaned from subtle changes in the faces and actions of decision makers.
Each time I am hired to design and develop a quality management system for a company, I always see a pattern in my work—ending up with four key recommendations listed below:
Major reorganization. The first document I usually ask is the current organization chart used by a client company. The working Org Charts of all my clients had one thing in common—lack of symmetry, ambiguous, a lot of details, no clear functional units.
The organizational structure that usually come out is a Functional Organization Chart that has two to three levels only: the Top Level (occupied by these titles: President, General Manager, Managing Director, Chairman, or CEO) and the Second Level is composed of the various functional units (Finance, Administration, IT, HR, Government Relations Office, Procurement and Logistics, Marketing & Sales or Business Development, Local Purchasing, Contracts, Project Planning and Control, and Project Implementation, among other).
The Third Level is composed of support staff.
In many instances, it takes months to decide on the official organization chart.
Elimination of redundant functions. When the functional organization chart is structured, redundant functions are almost automatically eliminated. When this area is addressed, affected people start to exhibit undesirable behavior and engage themselves into unpleasant bickering.
Termination of some middle and/or senior staff. With the elimination of redundant functions, the people in those redundant functions are usually the ones being fired. When this stage is reached, concerned staff are caught in disbelief and demonstrate anti social behavior.
Alignment of functional units. After the structuring of the functional organization chart, alignment of functional units is made possible—this is the second level which identifies only the useful functions for the organization. During this time, affected people have accepted the reality that top management is intent on implementing change in the organization and it can only empathize with the casualties of change.
Top management decision to accept or reject the recommendation for organizational change. The first four bullets are the inevitable results of corporate change initiatives. Oftentimes, decisions are made by the Top Man and expressed verbally after which implementation follows with the guidance of a hired external consultant. At this stage, everybody pays attention to details of executing planned organizational changes and no one is spared—those who cannot go with the flow are likewise given a farewell wish.
On the personal level, tears flowing on the cheeks are the manifestations of pain resulting from making decisions.
There was this woman who was a victim of husband beatings—she made the rightful decision of leaving her husband and came to Saudi Arabia to work as a nurse. One family man was counseled not to abort the 2-month-old womb of his wife after being sired by another foreigner who lived just in front of their flat in Saudi Arabia. One lady dentist decided to leave her beloved lover in Saudi Arabia and returned to her husband in the US.
At times, making decision subjects a person into excruciating pain.
But life must go on.