finish the homework Reading(s): Read HBR “Conquering a Culture of Indecision” Charan (2011). Required: Unit Journal Posts – Individual Students wil

finish the homework Reading(s):

Read HBR “Conquering a Culture of Indecision” Charan (2011).


Unit Journal Posts – Individual

Students wil

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  • Read HBR “Conquering a Culture of Indecision” Charan (2011).


  • Unit Journal Posts – Individual

Students will make three (3) Posts per UNIT. Each Post must be a MINIMUM of 200 words.

Each Post must consist of the following three (3) elements:

  • an important fact from the UNIT reading,
  • what this fact means,
  • why this post is important to you.

 Student will post one (1) response per UNIT. Students will select another student’s Post and provide an encouraging response to the ideas expressed by that student. Each Response must be MINIMUM of 100 words.

Conquering a Culture of Indecision

Imagine….. presenting a project and waiting for everyone else to open the discussion:

No one wants to comment.

There is a loud silence in the room.

The comments are all positive.

Remarks are finally made but judging from their remarks, it appears that everyone in the room supports the project. The project ends….but has it resolved anything?

Appearances can be deceiving.

Many people may be discontent, keeping their reservations to themselves.




…..can strangle a project to death

The true sentiment may be that people oppose the project

Silence and the lack of closure leads to false decisions:

project has not resolved much

False decisions and conclusions get undone by unspoken factors and inaction.

Leaders are charged with:

reaching a decision


engaging with one another.

Leaders who do not take charge:

demonstrate the inability to take decisive action and

create a corporate culture of indecisiveness.

Leaders can break this culture of indecisiveness by:

challenging assumptions

encouraging dialogue

The quality of the dialogue determines:

how people gather and process information

how they make decisions

how they feel about one another

about the outcome of these decisions

Dialogue can lead to new ideas and speed as a competitive advantage

It is the single most important factor underlying the productivity and growth of the knowledgeable worker.

Breaking a culture of indecision requires a leader who can engender between people:

intellectual honesty

trusting relationships: connections

The leader must set the tone by:

using these connections

modelling open and honest dialogue

Setting the tone is only the first step.

To transform a culture of indecision leaders must also see that the organization’s social operating mechanisms have honest dialogue at their centre.

Leaders must establish clear lines of accountability for reaching decisions and executing them.

Follow-through and feedback are the final steps in creating a decisive culture.

Feedback can be used to:

coach those who are struggling

redirect behaviours of those blocking progress and

provide reward to those who achieve.

It all begins with dialogue

Studies show that products and operational strength are not what really sets the most successful organizations apart.

What can not be easily duplicated between these companies are:

the decisive dialogues and robust operating mechanisms and

their links to feedback and follow-through.

These factors constitute an organization’s most lasting competitive advantage.

Decisive dialogue encourages:


brings coherence to seemingly fragmented and unrelated ideas

Outcomes seem right because people have helped to shape it

Where there is intellectual inquiry rather than advocacy people are energized and ready to act.

In these dialogues it is important for the leader to inject realism

Further, this dialogue should appear open to insight where people feel:



more sharply focused

It is important that there is not a failure to get all relevant information into the open.

How dialogue is conducted affects people’s attitudes and behaviour in subtle and not so subtle ways.

How dialogue becomes action

The social operating mechanisms of decisive corporate culture features behaviours marked by 4 characteristics:



Informality, and


Openness means that the outcome is not predetermined.

There is an honest search for alternatives and new discoveries. Leaders create an atmosphere of safety that permits:

good discussion

group learning


2. Candor is a willingness to:

speak the unspeakable

expose unfulfilled commitments

air the conflicts that undermine apparent consensus

Candor means that people express their real opinions…..not what they think team players are supposed to say

Candor helps wipeout the silence

Informality encourages candor. It reduces defensiveness

People feel more comfortable asking questions and Reacting honestly

Closure imposes discipline

Closure means People know exactly what they are expected to do

Closure produces decisiveness by:

assigning accountability

deadlines to people

Closure tests the leader’s inner strength and intellectual resources

Leaders get the behaviour they tolerate….putting up with old cultures of individualism and information hoarding

Cultures should be one where there is:


information sharing

…..a cultural mechanisms of airing and resolving conflicts

Bringing conflicts to the surface is a sign of organizational health

A healthy culture provides the opportunity for:

open dialogue

a safe environment for disagreement

In every organization conflict is inevitable

Therefore, a healthy approach to conflict it can be an opportunity for identifying best solutions

Dialogue is not about stating a message once and assuming it will sink in

Change in corporate culture and behaviour is made through a repetition of the dialogue

True behavioral change comes through a genuine cultural change

It is important for the organization to develop a cultural/social operating mechanism that promotes:

free flowing,

productive and decisive dialogue.

Further, for dialogue to be productive, the conversation should be focused on a common task.

Follow-through and feedback

Follow-through is at the root of decisive cultures.

A lack of follow through destroys:

the discipline of execution

encourages indecision

A good example of a follow-through and feedback mechanisms is the performance and compensation review process…..especially if it is explicitly linked to the corporation’s social operating mechanisms.

This feedback mechanism, however, cannot be viewed as ritualistic

Where there is no genuine conversation or no feedback, there is:

no chance for employees to learn

no opportunity for candid dialogue between employees and leaders

Without the right type of dialogue:

feedback mechanisms will not work as intended

not serve its purpose

behavioural and cultural change can not happen

Leaders must give honest feedback to their direct reports, especially to those who find themselves not doing well

Finally… should be many things:



relentlessly focused on behaviour performance

about accountability


One thing….it should not be surprising to the employee

Feedback mechanisms should be conducted on a continual basis…as a year long process

Dialogue and Indecision

Social Operating
Follow-through & Feedback
Connection between leader and team Executive meetings
Strategy reviews
Honest feedback, and reward high achievement
Model respect, openness and honesty Where the people of a corporation do business Coaching for those struggling
Decisive dialogue sets the tone for the organization Establish clear lines of accountability for decisions & action Redirect behaviors blocking the organization progress


Ultimately, changing a culture of indecision is it matter of leadership

It is a matter of asking hard questions:

how robust and effective are our social operating mechanisms

How well they are linked

did they have the right people in the right frequency

do they have a rhythm and operate consistently

is follow through built in

Further, a social dialogue mechanism must be marked by:





Transforming a culture of indecision is a big demanding task

It requires:

asking the right questions

identifying and resolving conflicts

providing candid and constructive feedback

Leaders with the strength to insist on honest dialogue and follow-through will be rewarded not only with a decisive organization but also with a workforce that is:




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