Essay on Decision-Making in Crisis
Number of words: 2154
The decision-making process is a very crucial point in any organization. Every organization comes with challenges related to the decision-making process. However, having a sound mind decision-making process means solving the process by examining different solutions and deciding on how to go, although it is often not necessarily a smooth process, with a bit of pitfall. The decisions made by the organization members have far-reaching consequences, especially when the organization is in critical situations. In organizations where all the group members have a say on decisions made, it is always hectic and tiring to cooperate and conclusions. Each member has to be consulted and is entitled to their opinions, which differ from each other. According to Malacarne (2019), not having adequate information may lead to challenges in the decision-making process. In the SWIM team, for example, being that it was in a critical but confusing situation, agreeing on the schedule for the conference was difficult. It was a dilemma with three difficult decisions to make. Each decision had a massive impact on the future of the team. However, it was a must that a decision is taken.
In the SWIM team, several areas of strength can be identified in the way they do their organization. It is essential to have power in a group so that the future can be predicted to be promising. It also sustains a team. One of the strengths of the SWIM team is that the team is focused. As from the case study, one can see that the members are doing what they can to ensure that the team succeeds in their endeavors. SWIM’S 3rd annual conference is supposed to take place the following day, but the weather is predicted to be wrong with a storm. But in a show focus on by the team, Janet and Merrill are said to be busy collecting each speaker’s status of updates to ensure that the team does not make a wrong decision. It is also noted that the speakers are unfazed by the weather reports and are ready to attend the conference. Strength is the team’s dependability as each one of them can be counted in. all of them try hard to ensure that their input is felt. The team is committed to working ethics. They do extra miles to ensure the conference is a success. When the speakers are contacted, one has already changed her ticket to reach even earlier, and one cannot be reached since she is already on a flight. This shows commitment by the team.
To expand on these areas further, the team needs to ensure to improve on some sites. For example, they need to have a clear resolution by the members in terms of decision-making. They need to come to a robust conclusion on what is to be done when. This will help sort the confusion that comes with the team’s dilemmas. The team needs to have a decision-making organ on behalf of the group so that it is easy to come to conclusions faster.
Analysis of the conference process
The conference is planned initially by the co-presidents, Rachel and Tarini, who are anxious to build on the previous year’s success. The forum is said to be the club’s biggest event of the year, and there is an agreement to maintain the last year’s structure by getting involved in it. Two directors are needed to oversee the conference, which involves selecting themes and speakers of the event and other logistics. Janet and Merrill are chosen to be the directors, and they then come up with the theme: “Dare to Fail: Taking Risks When it Matters most.” They then finalize the speakers for the panels. There is a warning; however, that tension would arise because it is unclear who has the final say in the conference’s decision-making process. The co-presidents want to be involved in all the team’s critical decisions, and they feel they must have a say in the selection of key speakers and the topics for discussion. This makes the co-directors think that there are micromanaged.
The SWIM team head for the summer internship and each stakeholder is given responsibilities. Sourcing of speakers becomes a challenge, but at last, there is a reprieve as key speakers are sourced. There is, however, a mixed reaction to the theme by the speakers. Equally, there was non-commitment to the date of the conference by the speakers. This makes planning to be hectic, especially for the marketing team, and Janet has a lot of pressure to shoulder, being that she is an alone director with the exit of Merrill. Marketing for the 2013 event is hectic, and at last, the team confirms that the event is sold out. Planning becomes hectic due to predicted low turn up.
Generally, planning of the event is not done correctly, and that requires some recommendations to help sort that failure in the future. For example, in organizing such circumstances, there is a need to do some things to ensure success. One, there is a need to decide to involve a pro. If they were planning to organize without a pro, then they ought to have added routine event-planning tasks like sourcing the venue, among other duties (Dee McCurry, 2019). Secondly, they ought to have sorted a conference planning software. The software would eliminate a lot of late nights, admin stress, and uninspiring work. This would mean that they focused on the number one priority of planning a great conference.
Consequences of resolutions to recommend to the SWIM team
Despite the challenges and confusion that the SWIM team has ongoing on with or canceling the conference, I would make several recommendations. The recommendations would have positive consequences for the future of the team. Without the advice, the team would be sure to have severe consequences and may lead to the team’s downfall altogether. One recommendation was to continue with the conference a scheduled. The recommendation is since the storm is a prediction, just as it is called and as such, it is uncertain, therefore has a probability of taking place or not. This event has been planned for some time, and canceling could lead to possible difficulties in preparing for another one. Equally, the speakers and the invited stakeholders have shown resilience and are ready for the storm’s outcome. Canceling the conference would demoralize and possibly affect future invitations.
Another recommendation is to hold the conference as early as possible for half a day. In case of any eventuality, everyone has attended; thus, they can contend that none backed off, and in any case, it is a call of nature that has led to its premature ending. This will make the stakeholders have confidence in their organization. Consequently, they could do public education on the storm’s dangers and cancel the event for a future date. However detrimental the announcement would be, they need to teach the people the difference between postponing an event to save lives and the possibility of killing humanity for an avoidable circumstance. These recommendations are all weighty and have critical ramifications on the SWIM team, but they are very vital to take.
Suggestions on processes SWIM can use to develop contingency plans in the future
SWIM team had predicted that a storm could occur during or on the conference day, but they were not prepared either. However, there should always be a plan for any future eventuality. Nature behaves abnormally at times, and without proper preparation, events of nature can be catastrophic, and in case they don’t happen even after canceling events, it may be disappointing. A contingency plan is a course of action that is always put in place to help an organization respond effectively to a future situation that has a probability of happening or not. It is always referred to as plan B, depending on the number of scenarios or events likely to occur. It is a proactive strategy that describes the course of action management to put in place in response to an event that is likely to happen in the future. Contingency planning is a role set aside for management but at times is left to the security department. According to Fischer et al. (2019), contingency is the responsibility of top management, but in most cases, the emergency response falls precisely on the security management team. This is because of the security mission, which is to observe and report.
SWIM team was supposed to develop processes of contingency planning which involves risk management. In risk management, the following procedures are applied: risk identification. The group already had information on the risk of a storm that was likely to occur. This posed great danger to the attendees of the conference. It was an external risk that the team could not control or influence. With this information, the team could freely discuss the merits of the risk. They could also agree whether the storm was a risk to the conference or not and decide on whether the meeting was to proceed or not. Secondly, the team could do risk quantification to determine the extent to which the storm could be detrimental to the conference.
Further, they could discuss the severity of the storm where it to occur. It is essential to be cautious at this point lest they misevaluate the risk probability. They could then look at the mitigation measures of the risk of the storm. They could finally do a risk response control that involves executing a risk management plan to respond to the risk. In the end, these processes would help prevent risks with the mitigation measures put in place.
Why it isn’t easy to engage in decision-making in organizations
Making decisions in organizations has always proved to be complicated. The decisions made always have effects on the members of the organizations and the other stakeholders. As Bridges (2018) put it, ethical decisions determine which individuals or groups benefit and which ones suffer. Therefore, it is difficult to make decisions in organizations due to various reasons such as uncertainty, where the decision-makers are unaware of the outcome of a chosen alternative when a choice is made. It is, therefore, hard to make decisions because committing to one option means neglecting the other options. Personal biasness is another reason for the difficulty in making decisions. Managers and decision-makers are always comfortable with ideas and concepts familiar to them and less satisfied with unfamiliar ideas. Conflicts in an organization may drive decision-making to be complicated. However much people dislike confrontations and tend to avoid them where possible; the best decisions always revolve around conflicts. For example, a manager must have a conversation with that employee who is often late for duties and have colleagues step in for them. The conversation is likely not to be pleasing to the employee and may lead to conflict; having a conversation is the best way nevertheless.
Further, time constraints always tend to make decision-making difficult. When there is little time available to collect all the required information with rationality to create a robust decision, it becomes challenging to make sound and agreeable decisions. However, at times forecasting and effective planning can alleviate this problem of time constraints. Escalation of commitment always makes it hard to make a decision. When it becomes challenging to make a decision; and challenging to live with a wrong decision, managers find themselves at crossroads. For example, when a manager makes a bad decision, it becomes hard to accept that he is wrong.
In conclusion, the SWIM team was an essential team that boasted tremendous efforts and had many strengths and weaknesses, notwithstanding. The team successfully managed to hold a conference in 2012 despite the 2013 conference facing some difficulties. It involved a group of hardworking women. From the case study, we learn about the necessities for holding a successful meeting, plan better, and be ready with contingency measures should there be any possibility of risks likely to occur in planning. Through the case study, we learn the reasons why managing an organization is demanding and how hard it is to make decisions due to conflicts, uncertainties, and business in the organizations.
Bridges, E. (2018), “Executive ethical decisions initiating organizational culture and values”, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 576-608. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-07-2017-0106
Dee McCurry (2019). Your conference is approaching, and there are lots to do. Use this conference planning checklist to help.
Eleonora Malacarne(2019): 7 common challenges related to the decision-making process in fleets.
Fischer, R. J., Halibozek, E. P., & Walters, D. C. (2019). Contingency Planning Emergency Response and Safety. Introduction to Security, 249–268. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-805310-2.00011-1