Effectual Leadership: Making Strategic Decisions Remotely

Making strategic decisions has always been difficult. Any good leader knows that to be true during normal times, let alone over the course of a pandemic.

Over and over, teams have tackled remote working and additional difficulties. This has been complicating well-informed decision making, leadership have had to imagine new strategies to put in place.

In fact, there has been a real opportunity to be more efficient and productive than ever before, if you just plan to adapt well.   

In this week’s episode of The Magenta Quest, Fiona Astor (Assistant Director of The Magenta Way) returns to continue their inspiring story. Even with the majority of the workforce remote, the organisation is on the fast track.

On this occasion, Golden Marzipan’s change expert, Sean Sankey joined us too. Over the last 15 years, Sean has been working with organisations large and small to help their leaders successfully deliver significant change. As Fiona acknowledge, “everyone needs a Sean”.

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Sean affirmed that this process of strategic decision-making may appear to be “counter-intuitive” but, when applied correctly, its effects are time saving and visible almost instantaneously.

Tactical Decision Making

In recent times, leadership has been experiencing an uphill battle against the knock-on effects of COVID-19.

For leaders, this crisis asks for drastic measures to mitigate the negative effects. As Deloitte stated in their article on taking the right decisions, “organisations can benefit from data-driven decision-making principles to successfully cope”.

Also, they continued pointing out that “every organization needs to investigate the effects of the current crisis on their business”, developing strategic, tailor-made measures.

In this context, said Fiona, “you have to quickly rethink everything you do”. During her transformational journey, she said, “history and culture also have played a big part”. She continued stating that they have had “limited resources”. So, prioritising has been a must.

According to Fiona, there are many counterproductive factors influencing effective decision-making such as a compliance or uncertainty.

Responding to the Challenges of Strategic Decision-Making

Make no mistake, the journey has been quite demanding and leaders and their teams feel now depleted of energy.

Almost four out of ten leaders would now say that their view from the bridge had them anticipating arriving at a safe shore.

Simultaneously, many challenges keep on appearing consistently. As Sean has foreseen, the top team have to fight against multiple factors:

  • Several agendas on “what” to do.
  • Discordant opinions on “how” to do it.
  • And, finally, just trying to make “decisions by talking”.

He continued implying that these interrogations almost always lead to even more chaos involving cyclical discussions, false starts, excessive rework, and disappointing results.

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Many of the challenges that top-teams face will end leading teams to disappointing results or false starts, as Sean highlighted.

Supporting Impactful Operational Decisions

Then, how should organisations, especially top-team leaders address these flaws and weaknesses?

Addressing this, Fiona and Sean discussed the idea of alignment as central.

Successfully tackling this at Magenta, a precious toolkit was presented. Sean talked about the three-key kit and what it always covers:

  1. The Double Diamond Process – an innovative design thinking model.
  2. The Visual Real-Time Collaboration – seeing and working on the same topic with real-time collaboration thanks to tools like Mural.
  3. The 4-ways to Make Decisions – making your approach explicit will save you time.
Three of the most productive tools to achieving successful decision-making

According to Sean, there is always a spectrum of how decisions are made. Specifically, there tend to be four major parts involving making strategic decisions depending on who is making them: individuals such as executive leaders or committee style consensus. Understanding how the decision will be made makes it much easier in the long run.

As Fiona stated, the outcome of working with Golden Marzipan has had a huge ROI. We got to have “complete clarity on why we were doing it”, Fiona declared.

Peter concluded by saying, “making the right decisions is essential and here is the right toolkit to make it possible.”

Indeed, Golden Marzipan’s experts are passionate about offering the right tools and advice for effective decision making in the housing sector.

Please, get in touch if you want us to make it possible for your organisation, especially the four types of decision–making outlined by Sean. 

Lastly, if you would like to discuss any of the items raised in this blog, contact Peter Lunio at peter@goldenmarzipan.co.uk

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