Join Jeff Weiner for an in-depth discussion in this video Speed, part of On Leadership by Jeff Weiner.
- The S is the speed and quality of your decision-making and at the end of the day, if you're going to ask me how do companies maximize longterm value creation, this is it. Of all the things we're going to cover in all the hours we spend together on leadership, awareness, synthesis, inspiration, and all the things that are nested under these concepts by far and away the most important correlating factor and arguably causal factor with longterm value creation is speed and quality of decision-making. With regard to the F and the C, those are means to this end. When you're focused on fewer things and you're able to do those things better and you're able to do fewer things, you're able to make better decisions faster. When you're communicating the right information to the right people at the right time, they are equipped with the information that enables them to make better decisions faster. So if we're going to make high quality decisions with speed, we need to be good at decision making. Decision-making doesn't just happen. Most people rely on implied processes. Most people just fall back on guesswork and assumptions in terms of who's responsible for what and how decisions are going to be made. We just kind of take for granted this idea that decisions are so important they require their own framing. And we've taken the time to define the process or framework through which we expect decisions to be made. We didn't create it, but we have certainly executed against it. So RAPID is an acronym. It stands for recommend, agree, perform, input, and decide. This is the RAPID approach to decision making. I love the acronym that it spells rapid speed and quality of decision making. So just to walk you through these, these are only in an order that enables you to spell a cool word. So it's not, I wouldn't read too much into the order here, but I do want to call out the various definitions and some of the key insights that we've learned, by pursuing a RAPID decision-making framework. First is recommend. This is, in my opinion, we got the stack ranking right in terms of the acronym. Recommend, to me, is the most important part of the process. Most people think it's... D, (audience laughs) if the decision maker is doing their job properly, it's the R. I'm going to empower you to make a recommendation to me. Hopefully you were the right person for the job and I'm going to agree with it. So you're going to end up being the hub of that wheel. You're going to pull the whole thing together. So the person who recommends, they've got a lot of influence, a lot of power in this decision making process. Oftentimes overlooked is the A. The A is the agree. Agree is different than the I. The I is input. Oftentimes on teams and in organizations, every time someone is asked for their opinion by the R or the D, people feel like they can end the whole process because they disagree. Don't agree with this recommendation. Shut it down. Sorry, what was your name again? (audience laughs) What do you, what do you do (chuckles) on the team? (clears throat) Everyone who is asked their opinion feels like they are the decision maker, the recommender, they can end the whole discussion. Not the case, okay? There are going to be a select number of people in a decision making process, ideally one or none that have an A, because when the A disagrees with the recommendation, shuts it down, shuts it down. That's a lot of influence and power. So if we're making a decision to do business in an international market by way of example, and it's a new product entry, I may be the D, our head of product Ryan is going to be the R and Blake Lawit, our General Counsel may be an A because one of our first principles with regard to trust is complying with the laws of the countries in which we operate. So Blake needs to weigh in on something like that and complying with law, that's important. That's an A, not just an I. P and the people that are going to perform this, you want to bring them into the loop. You don't want this just coming down from the mountain top once the decision's been made and say, here you go, knock yourself out. Go make this happen. You want to bring them along, provide them the context, minimize surprises, make them feel like they were a part of it, make them feel heard. Input, those are people you're interested in their opinion. They have something to add. Unique perspective, expertise, experience that's different than your own. They're going to influence this process. If you have input into the process, is that the same as agree? Fundamentally different, fundamentally different. And then decide, this is the person who's going to take the recommendation and say yay or nay. And its the ultimate decision maker, but like I said, I think the person who makes the recommendation truly has the power. When you're just starting off with establishing this process, We will get to you in just a sec, when you're just establishing this process, especially with newer folks, newer to the role of the recommendation, newer to their management capacities. I created a little extra letter, which is the little D. Got the big D and little D. And the little D is, I really want you to make the decision, but if I disagree with your decision, (audience laughs) I'm going to make the decision. (audience laughs) That's the little D. If you, (chuckles) if you use (audience laughs) the little D too often, you undermine the whole process. Then people just think, Oh, he's just going to make the decision anyway. I'm not even going to become invested in this process. I don't care, he's just going to come down and veto the whole thing. But the little D trains people to serve in a decision making capacity, knowing that there's a safety net underneath them. So that's different than an R and it's different than a big D. And the reason we call that out explicitly is because you can't undermine the process. For this to work, you got to stick with it and be consistent. Trust equals... consistency over time. Got to be consistent over time. Rapids are wonderful, they're super powerful if done properly, but like anything else, they can have unintended consequences. If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone comes to you and asks, who's responsible for something? How are you going to set a priority? When are decisions going to be made? And that person says, what's the RAPID? And you say, we don't have one. And they say, please do a RAPID for the RAPID. (audience laughs) You should very seriously start to question where you are working, (audience laughs) who you are working for. Maybe in the very early throws of establishing RAPIDs, you will do a RAPID for your RAPID. (audience laughs) Maybe. If you end up doing RAPIDs on RAPIDs and that's all the team is doing, run for the Hills. (audience laughs) You are living in a Dilbert comic strip. (audience laughs)
Learn about the importance of maintaining awareness of yourself, your team, your industry, and the world at large. Explore the topic of synthesis, which you achieve through developing your vision and values and by focusing on the most important priorities. Plus, learn about the role of inspiration in leadership, both in terms of being true to your own values and motivating others.