Giving Compass' Take:

• In this Nonprofit AF post, Vu Le examines the phenomenon of "decision fatigue" at nonprofits and how a feedback-informed process that still gives agency to the person closest to the issue may be a better method.

• Could the "Advice Process" described work in a variety of settings? How might board feedback help or hinder the effort?

• Here's why decision-making power needs to reside with workers on the ground.

Decision fatigue is real, y’all, and it has sometimes led to fights and arguments in our household over the most ridiculous things. (“Which movie should we see?” “Hisssss!”) It is also symptomatic of the weakness in our society’s default decision-making philosophy. This philosophy is basically top-down and hierarchical, where the people who have the most power have the most decision-making authority, even in areas where they have the least amount of knowledge and experience. The ED/CEO makes the final decisions on everything. Staff who challenge the decisions get into trouble. And the board sometimes vetoes the staff’s decisions.

This decision-making model, which we have unconsciously accepted as the default, is disempowering, inequitable, exhausting, and oftentimes nonsensical. Why should a supervisor, who often only sees a fraction of the frontline work, get to have final say in programmatic matters? Why should I, the ED, who spends most of my time outside the office talking to donors and funders and napping in my car between meetings, get to have ultimate decision-making authority on programs, operations, and other areas that I don’t oversee everyday? We need a different, better, more rational way of making decisions in our sector.

Luckily, there is an amazing alternative. These past couple of years, my organization Rainier Valley Corps has been experimenting with a decision-making model called the Advice Process ...

Read the full article about the flaws in organization decision-making by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF.