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Making Decisions Transparent

peering
  1. to trust one another.

  2. that decision making is a process.

  3. what the goal of the process is--which may not be the goal of the entire staff or shared by the entire staff.

  4. respect for minority viewpoints. Another payoff of inclusiveness during decision making is voices rarely heard may help your organization save money. For example, if you're selecting software and only involve IT and department heads, what happens when the folks who actually use proposed software tell you it won't work and why? And last, and this is also the leader's role, by talking it through, a staff learns how to work with a decision even when it didn't go the way they hoped. And it's you, the leader, who sets that tone although it's likely easier when a majority of the staff have participated in the process. And what does your staff expect on the receiving end of a transparent decision making process?

  5. a leader who hasn't made up her mind, who comes to the problem in question ready to learn.

  6. a leader who respects her staff's experience.

  7. a leader who is willing to guide the process so all voices are heard from.

  8. a leader who is open about the goals and parameters of a given project or decision.

  9. a leader who really listens. If you work at a small to medium sized institution, altering your decision making strategy may not be very difficult. You likely meet with most of the staff for major decisions anyway. If you don't, you may want to ask yourself why you don't. If you work at a larger museum, changing the decision making process will involve getting departments and/or trustees, who may not work together often to engage with one another. The results though are elegant. And because Leadership Matters is constantly nagging you, our gentle readers, to read outside the museum world, take a look at this decision-making matrix from University of California Davis. As always, let us know what you think. We've had almost 17,000 views since 2013, and we're honored to have you all out there thinking and talking about museum (and your) leadership. Joan Baldwin

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