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This week I registered for a course offered by the International Trade Council.  The instructor, Edmond Mellina, of Toronto operates a company called ORCHANGO whose goal is to help transform businesses.


“Nimble Decision-Making with the D.A.I. model” is a simple structure that Mr. Mellina teaches companies who have experienced sluggish decision-making,  Five specific problems in this area identified by him include:  escalation (always passing the decision-making to the highest level); swirl (re-thinking decisions over and over again without any change occurring); wing-clipping (when higher levels micro-manage); throwing under the bus (sabotage until lower levels quit trying to give their input); and consensus (trying to please everyone without success).


A simple but effective model used and taught by Orchango is known as D.A.I. (or D.C.I.) and consists of three specific roles who all learn their responsibilities as well as necessary mindsets, behaviours and feelings.


The “D” represents one person who is designated as the decision-maker for one specific problem.   This person is held accountable for considering all the information and knowing how the final decision will impact the organization.  In order to reveal blind spots, consider alternatives and risks, this person is assisted by experts who are appointed to help the decision-maker.


The “A” role consists of Advisors (also called “C” of consultants in some instances).  There are usually several advisors, each of whom have expertise in their own field.  They are given time to consider the situation and then present pros and cons as well as alternatives to the decision-maker. They know that they are not there to make the decision but to support the decision-maker even if they don’t ultimately agree with the final outcome.


The ”I” group includes the informed stakeholders who do not have any input into the decision-making process but are told afterwards what has been decided.  In order to balance their anxiety and control issues, however, they are usually given input regarding how and when the decision will be executed.  It is very important that they are advised regarding what is non-negotiable, what is flexible and what they can control.


I was thinking about how this model could be used in families, volunteer organizations and other settings.  Often, it seems, one person makes a decision and then just demands others accept it, without any input.  There isn’t any transparency about the process.  This often results in rebellion or discontent from others who are involved but not in agreement.  They might feel resentful, trapped or angry because they are just being told how things will be.


This week think about how decisions are made in different ways that affect you.  Who usually is the decision-maker?  Do you ever have that role?   Does the decision-maker seek advice from expert advisors before informing those who will be affected by the decision?  Have the pros and cons as well as alternatives been considered? 


This seems like a simple model, but the instructor advised that it might take a while until everyone understands it and what is expected of them.  Starting with smaller decisions is therefore a wise way to learn the skills and become comfortable with the process. 


How might you implement the ideas promoted in this model to make your life better?  Can you see it changing your family, business or other organizations for the better?


Worthy a try, isn’t it?

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