Decision Makers_lead image

Many make allowances for decision makers, saying some are “faking it until they make it.” However, this is the wrong default position to take when communicating with decision makers. Instead, the probabilities will be on your side if you assume they are more qualified than you.

Take, for example, the Board of Mount Pleasant Waterworks in South Carolina. It is comprised of several successful business owners, a member with expertise in risk management and financial management, an environmental consultant with a PhD, a former, long-time employee of the agency, and three current or former elected officials. The asset management program actually started more than 20 years ago at the direction of a former chairman who was experienced in medical facilities. There may be differences of opinion, but there are no weak links in the decision-making chain.

Likewise, the 15-member North Carolina Environmental Management Commission (EMC), the official environmental rule-making body for the state, currently consists of 11 members with advanced degrees, including four engineers, four attorneys and one physician, all 15 members have advanced technical certifications, four have private sector executive management experience, five have local government leadership experience, and all 15 have credible experience in their field of practice. Some of the most recent members to complete their service include a former deputy secretary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a former secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ), a former assistant secretary of the NC DEQ, the former general counsel of the NC DEQ, and a 20-year member of the NC General Assembly.

It is often surprising to see the number of staff doing their reports before these various commissions, overtly expressing they are “simplifying things for us.” As if somehow commissioners have all gotten dumb when they were appointed the position! No, commissioners may not always agree with staff, but they certainly understand.

So, the next time you appear before a decision maker, their inner circle, or a decision-making body, remember that it is about them and not about you. Assume the decision maker is capable of understanding – after all, somehow you are presenting to them for their approval (and not vice versa). Most decision makers are far from stupid. You may be a poor communicator. Or they may simply disagree with you.



References

Crosby, Rick. MPW Board Chair. “Workshop B: Getting Your Staff to Understand.” 2022 Utility Management Conference, Orlando, Florida.

State of North Carolina, Environmental Management Commission. EMC Member Bios (nc.gov), accessed April 2022.

JD Solomon

JD Solomon, PE, CRE, CMRP, is the founder of JD Solomon, Inc, a company focused on project development, asset management, and facilitation for facilities, infrastructure, and the environment. His technical expertise includes probabilistic analysis, root cause analysis, risk management, and systems engineering. JD's past senior leadership roles include Vice President at two Fortune 500 companies, Town Manager for a unit of local government, and Chairman of a state environmental rulemaking commission. JD is the author of the book “Communicating Reliability, Risk, and Resiliency to Decision Makers: Getting Your Boss’s Boss to Understand.” His new book, “Communicating with FINESSE,” will be released in the Fall of 2022. JD’s education and technical credentials include a BS In Civil Engineering, an MBA from the University of South Carolina, and a professional certificate in Strategic Decisions and Risk Management from Stanford University. www.jdsolomoninc.com

Upcoming Events

August 9 - August 11 2022

MaximoWorld 2022

View all Events
banner
80% of Reliabilityweb.com newsletter subscribers report finding something used to improve their jobs on a regular basis.
Subscribers get exclusive content. Just released...MRO Best Practices Special Report - a $399 value!
DOWNLOAD NOW
Conducting Asset Criticality Assessment for Better Maintenance Strategy and Techniques

Conducting an asset criticality assessment (ACA) is the first step in maintaining the assets properly. This article addresses the best maintenance strategy for assets by using ACA techniques.

Harmonizing PMs

Maintenance reliability is, of course, an essential part of any successful business that wants to remain successful. It includes the three PMs: predictive, preventive and proactive maintenance.

How an Edge IoT Platform Increases Efficiency, Availability and Productivity

Within four years, more than 30 per cent of businesses and organizations will include edge computing in their cloud deployments to address bandwidth bottlenecks, reduce latency, and process data for decision support in real-time.

MaximoWorld 2022

The world's largest conference for IBM Maximo users, IBM Executives, IBM Maximo Partners and Services with Uptime Elements Reliability Framework and Asset Management System is being held Aug 8-11, 2022

6 Signs Your Maintenance Team Needs to Improve Its Safety Culture

When it comes to people and safety in industrial plants, maintenance teams are the ones who are most often in the line of fire and at risk for injury or death.

Making Asset Management Decisions: Caught Between the Push and the Pull

Most senior executives spend years climbing through the operational ranks. In the operational ranks, many transactional decisions are required each day.

Ultrasound for Condition Monitoring and Acoustic Lubrication for Condition-Based Maintenance

With all the hype about acoustic lubrication instruments, you would think these instruments, once turned on, would do the job for you. Far from it!

Maintenance Costs as a Percent of Asset Replacement Value: A Useful Measure?

Someone recently asked for a benchmark for maintenance costs (MC) as a percent of asset replacement value (ARV) for chemical plants, or MC/ARV%.

OEM recommended maintenance plans

One-third of CEO Terrence O'Hanlon's colleagues think so - at least as a starting point. What do you have to say?