Large corporations fail in establishing clear decision making processes shared and followed by everybody. This is also a risk in any growth company.
When employees lack a clear method to influence and participate in decision making, they quickly become disengaged, which results in poorer performance and higher turnover.
After a 17-year career in large corporations in various roles, I have done my share of internal lobbying. Looking back, I did it because it wasn’t at all clear who would make the final decisions. Therefore, it was necessary to “pitch” your idea everywhere and try to get your message heard by the right ears.
When a higher ranked director started to use my words as a solution proposal to a problem, I knew I had started to gain traction.
Then, later on after successful lobbying had lead to a decision somewhere, I might hear about it, or then not. It was always unclear who would communicate the decisions and how.
What a waste of time and energy it was! Frustrating feelings all over the place during the lobbying and after.
“Why aren’t my good ideas based on common sense accepted immediately? Why am I not encouraged to use my time on something more productive than running an internal lobbying campaign?”
Don’t do what I did, do as I say
The cure to my frustration would have been a clear decision making process, including a crystal clear and easy way to influence the decision makers.
I am not alone with my frustrations related to internal lobbying. Not long ago, I had a business lunch with an entrepreneur who has been running his startup since late 2013. He had resigned from a large international corporation due to the fuzzy and illogical decision making process. He described his disappointment pretty much using the same words as I did. He had come to the same decision as I did and started to work for his own dream using a decision making framework which he created. A much more simple one, I can assure you.
So, why did I want to share my exhausting experiences of internal lobbying? Because I’m hoping you can benefit from them and instead of repeating the same mistakes, jump over the rocks that made me stumble and fall.
Here are the key takeaways from my trial and error round in the corporate world. Lessons learnt to any corporation and any business on its way to becoming a corporation some day:
- Evaluate your own decision making process and tune it to be more engaging and clear from the employees’ point of view.
- Don’t undermine the power of clear communication. After engaging your employees in something, show and communicate the impact of their input.
Why should you care? Because creating a simple decision making process with clear communication will bring undeniable benefits to you, your company and your employees. You can anticipate allround feel-good vibes, which will skyrocket productivity and results:
- Your employees will feel better and, as a consequence, perform better
- Your leaders at different levels of hierarchy will feel better (now finally getting the plot, after being equally clueless about the decision making process as every other employee before)
- Your business will feel better and deliver better results
- You’ll feel better as you have less conflicts, hassle, more productivity and you can focus on the right things. Yeah, remember? The things that actually matter, like leading the company and growing your business.