Decision Scheduling

Meetings: the practical alternative to workMeetings: the practical alternative to work

Decision scheduling, a simple strategy adored by some Decision Makers, is a management technique primarily based on delaying.

By postponing a decision to a particular set of future circumstances (e.g. time, place, presence), the Decision Maker skilfully whets up the emotional vigour of all stakeholders and at the same time avoids potentially embarrassing in-depth discussions.

When the awaited final meeting eventually opens, it necessarily has the flair of a top summit.

Since the meeting time is precious, most people are inclined to agree that "it is not the time or place for discussing details". As a consequence, stakeholders struggle to make their points concise enough to fit the time while still make some sense, and exchanges tend to be hopelessly superficial (cf. the bikeshed concept).

The Decision Maker, not having to understand the pros and cons of the proposals to any significant degree, graciously listens to the crystallized arguments of the stressed proponents and opponents, and then, with a gesture of a true leader, boldly selects a decision.

The accepted proposal need not be the best one. Verbal skills, underlying alliances, and especially the on-the-spot ability to charm the Decision Maker, tend to be more influential than expertise or verifiable facts documented in supporting materials.

It is the designed necessity to express the case and take a decision at one single session, announced well on beforehand, that pretty much pre-validates any decision that is finally selected, regardless its quality. Even if the proposals are flawed, the decision taken will feel like a good one simply because it was planned for and selected from several candidates.

Whilst, on the surface, this strategy appears to ensure work efficiency, in reality it is dangerously manipulative due to its in-built repellence of critical reasoning and glorification of even the incompetent Decision Maker.

Tomáš Fülöpp
Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Belgium
April 4, 2007, June 10, 2010, April 12, 2011
Tomáš Fülöpp (2012)

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Tagsmeetingmanipulationdecisionunion of international associationspsychologygroupexpectationstrategybusinessemotionreasonessay
LanguageENGLISH Content typeARTICLELast updateOCTOBER 20, 2018 AT 01:46:40 UTC