Decision Making

The Management Committee needs to ensure that it takes effective decisions.

Decision making

Management committees are responsible for taking major strategic decisions and need to take decisions jointly with other members. In making any big decision, a number of steps are involved, including some or all of the following:-

  • Information - ensuring the committee has read or heard all relevant information;
  • The goal - what is our aim and is it consistent with the aim and direction of the organisation. Agreement on the goal is a crucial stage in decision making;
  • Choices - what choices are available to us and what are the constraints; and
  • The plan - how do we achieve our goal - what are the steps and what resources do we need.

There are other situations where it is sensible to delegate the power to make day to day decisions to the chief officer or to a working group for example to work out the details of carrying out a policy which the whole committee has agreed to.

Decision making is much more effective if the committee establishes not only what is to be done but also how and when it will be done and by whom.

There are two common methods of making decisions:

1. By consensus; and 
2. By taking a vote.

Some organisations have a strong commitment to consensual decision making and only take a vote in exceptional circumstances. Others routinely vote on issues.

Regardless of how decisions are taken, all committee members should be clear about exactly what has been decided and decisions should be clearly minuted.

Click here to download suggested format for Minutes. 

Click here for more details on running effective meetings.