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Elective Surgery

Decision06Tomorrow is Election Day.  The media keeps telling us that the fate of the power of Congress is in our hands.  Here in Iowa, we have a governor spot up for grabs.  And, for the first time since I started voting in 1984, I'm still an "undecided voter" the day before elections.  It's not a matter of apathy; I really do care who is elected and how they will impact me, my community, my state, and my nation.  And yes, I use the singular possessive pronoun on all of those because I still feel a personal stake at each level of government.

Take Iowa's governor's race as an example.  Congressman Jim Nussle is running against Iowa's Secretary of State Chet Culver for the position.  I like Culver.  He's local to Des Moines.  He was a former teacher, and I'm a huge fan of education issues (being married to a teacher, I have no other choice).  He's done an admirable job as Secretary of State, although it did take his office 4 weeks to send me paperwork they had approved (which I'm probably not going to hold him personally accountable for that).  Then there is Nussle.  Even though he wears the title Republican, he's proven himself to be a moderate who will vote his conscience.  He'll bring Washington connections to the office to help our state.  Which leads me to my bigger dilemma:  I don't dislike either candidate, but I'm not passionate about either one.  For those of you who have read this blog, you should surmise by now that passion is a key driver in my values system.  I've not been a huge fan of the EMMM approach to decision-making (eenie-meanie-miney-moe), but I still have to make some kind of informed decision before tomorrow.

Do you ever have a hard time getting people to make decisions within your organization?  Why do you think that is?  Fear of accountability?  Apathy?  Lack of knowledge?  We're supposed to be one of the most well informed generations, yet people still claim to "not know enough to make an informed decision."  I stumbled across a really cool post on the Principles of Knowledge Management recently at Dave Pollard's How to Save the World blog.  He appears to be a realist, and he seems to get the fact that the reason why most knowledge management systems fail is that the individuals within the companies don't internalize their usage... they have not made them personal enough.  So that lack of knowledge then turns into a fear of accountability or a level of apathy.

Unlike perceptions of political candidates (which can be spin-doctored to persuade people to believe almost anything), knowledge about business decisions should be more objectively based.  Yes-No answers and numbers should form the foundational basis for those decisions, and that data should be made readily available for those who need it.  Then let the users of that data come to informed conclusions about what the data is telling them (adding in the right level of intuition and personal experience).  Then figure out the right decisions and how to inform stakeholders of those decisions.  Not exactly tough stuff to figure out, but in our fast-paced world of snap decisions, it's more easily said than done.  Visit Dave's post on Knowledge Management.  Think about your own decisions.  How can you help expedite the decisions that are the cornerstone of your planned accomplishments?

Also, if you have looked at the information about your own candidates, please get out and vote tomorrow.  Whether you are voting for somebody or against "the other guy," make your decision be known.


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