Innovation is a practice contingent on the speed and effectiveness of decisions. But in a world of instant gratification, social media fatigue and information overload, how can a business make good decisions?
James Everingham, the Head of Engineering for Instagram, took up a crusade to find a consistent, disciplined approach across the organization to make true changes. His approach isolated a critical ingredient for change that shifts paradigms and shapes cultures. Transparency, a concept that is ubiquitous as a business buzz word is the opaque glue for good decisions.
Transparency Makes For Good Decisions
Transparency in operations is elusive especially for large organizations without a working definition. Across Instagram, employees had different definitions of transparency, a liability when it comes to employee buy in for change.
Everingham came up with a solid definition of transparency: clear and consistent communication, clarity on how decisions get made, honest and clear feedback and admitting wrongdoing. All four characteristics must be present for transparency to be effective in an organization.
A lightbulb moment for Everingham was when he realized transparency differed from accountability in that inherently employees need to understand why or how decisions were being made. Like any impactful business practice, decision making must be free of all mystery with the curtain pulled back on the process and principles behind the decision.
Research shows that managers and executives fail to consistently track, communicate, and improve their decision making, an astounding finding considering decision-making drives 95% of business performance.
RACI Matrix As A Solution
For Instagram, the solution that infused transparency into decision making was a system called the RACI model. RACI evolved from the world of project management as a methodology for assigning roles and making decisions in a project. At the beginning of a project, it identifies who is: responsible, accountable, consulted and informed for the project.
RACI model is an example of using tech solutions to augment human intelligence. A model that encourages collaboration and standardization of decision-making with a formula that makes every decision understandable, consistent, and repeatable.
In the invisible hands of technology, human decision making is no longer a whimsical puzzle or a victim of speculation. Systems make high-performance teams free to innovate. When Instagram learned how to make good decisions, it pivoted as a large organization to turn the tide of operations and invest in the future.
Lesson From Instagram
The lesson from the Instagram, the beauty queen of social media is simple. As carcasses of businesses are left behind by the pandemic and digital transformation, an organization’s best chance for survival is transforming decision- making using effective decision practices and tech driven systems. RACI model, an abbreviation of four letters is a powerful tool when it comes to being a bridge for organizations into the future.