Let’s start the week off with a quick exercise. Now that you recognize that making a decision is not a simple one-two process, you’ll need to formulate a personal plan for handling the major decisions that will come across your desk from time to time. What would you do in the following situations?
– There was a major fire at one of your company’s international plants. The fire was caused by negligence on the part of a group of employees and there was at least one death along with several injuries. The fire damaged surrounding businesses and the cleanup will likely take at least 6 months. Your manager has asked you to write a press release expressing apologies, sympathy for the families of those who were lost, and well-wishes for those who are injured. He knows the press will begin to question you and has indicated you should tell them that cleanup will take no more than 3-4 weeks! You know this is something the public would like to hear, but that the information is incorrect. How will you handle the situation?
– The troubled economy is having a negative impact on your business and sales are down. You’re going to have to let one of your employees go in order to cut back on costs, but both of the employees in question are struggling to get by. You know that one has a medical condition and needs to pay for extra health care, but you know that the other is a single parent with a young child at home. Which one will you lay off?
These are difficult decisions and both will take bit of thought. Are they programmed or nonprogrammed? Are you making the decision based on your personal beliefs, or are you looking at the whole picture and making an ethical decision?
Originally published: 29 September, 2008
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