Leading Blog






03.21.07

Charles Koch on Decision Making

sabotage
Charles Koch finally published the ideas he applied and named Market-Based Management (MBM) in his book The Science of Success. While there is no such thing as the science of success (it is a comforting idea), this book presents a lot of ideas that are worth taking a look at for possible application elsewhere. I did appreciate his viewpoint on decision making:
Proximity to a problem or process does not determine who is in the best position to make a decision. In a world characterized by knowledge-driven rapid change, top-down decision-making is commonly criticized as being highly inefficient. It is true that centralized command-and-control business management suffers from many of the same problems seen in centrally planned economies. Those with local knowledge are often in a better position to solve the problem at hand. The ideas and creative energy of all employees should be leveraged, but universally decentralized decision-making has its own problems. Some decisions, if made at the local level, can be unprofitable because a broader perspective is required.

The mindless application of either approach—universally centralized or completely decentralized decision rights—is not the answer. For example, decisions about how to gain optimum throughput from a refinery at any given time probably are best made by people on site. On the other hand, people further removed, but with broader knowledge, may be better positioned to make a decision on what the most profitable product mix will be in five years. Decisions should be made by those with the best knowledge, taking comparative advantage into account.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 01:43 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Problem Solving



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