I had the opportunity today to teach a 1/2 day session at the Defense Acquisition University in Ohio. One defense program manager offered me an important lesson. He said that he always encourages his team members to ask two questions about any decision that he makes:
1. Do I like this decision?
2. Do I understand this decision?
He points out that nearly everyone asks themselves the first question. He focuses on shifting the conversation to the second question. He stresses to his team members that they may not always like the decisions he makes. However, he has failed if they do not understand the decisions. Do they comprehend the rationale? criteria? role they will play during implementation? He cannot always please everyone on the team. However, he must have strong shared understanding, if the implementation is to be successful. I love it. What a simple way to communicate to the team the importance of shared understanding, as well as to remind them that it's unlikely that all decisions will have unanimous support.