In the room

« I want a seat at the decision table. I want to be involved earlier in the decision process. I want to be in the room when key decisions are being made. I have domain expertise on the matter at hand. »

Welcome. Welcome in the decision room. Please, have a seat. You are as early as it gets.

So, we have less than an hour, to make a critical decision. Do we go for option A, which has one major upside but sucks in many ways? Or for option B, which has another upside, but also sucks in many ways, but different ones? A or B?

« Wait, what? That’s it? Only 2 options, and both suck? »

Well, we have explored options C, D and E, but they suck even more.

« … OK. But what about the impact of A vs B? Which one will have the least damaging outcome? »

You have the same amount of information as everyone in the room. What do you think?

« I don’t know! There’s no way someone can take such an important decision with so little information? I need more time. »

Sure. Take a couple of minutes to think it through.

« No, I need to sleep on this. And I need to gather more information. By the way, how do A or B align with our strategy on this topic? »

Choosing between A or B is the strategic decision. Many ongoing projects will have to change course based on this decision. That’s why we have to decide today, and inform everyone right after. In the room, the majority thinks we should go for option A. Only 2 people think we should go for option B. Quite good arguments on both ends. Where do you stand?

« But option A is going to piss off so many people! »

So option B?

« Option B might piss off even more people! »

Yes. Do you have suggestions on how to best explain option A? Or option B?

« I think there’s a misunderstanding. I’m happy to help, but this not the right way to make decisions. We should have more information to measure the consequences of the options on the table. I mean, look: you’re not even aligned on what is the best option! »

Yes, that’s why we are in the room. To hear the different views, and then decide. You wanted to be in the room. So what is your opinion?


What brings you in the room is your expertise.

Many decisions are messy. People in the room qualify such situations as ambiguous. What gets you reinvited in the room is your ability to deal with that ambiguity.

So, do you want to be in the room?

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