Dr Benson Oke addressing the participants

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday warned directors in the state public service against making counter-productive decision that will harm the system.

The governor spoke at a two-day training on “High Impact Decision Making Programme for Directors in the Lagos State Public Service,” held in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Tuesday.

According to Ambode, a process-informed decision-making style would ensure that decisions were not made haphazardly or dictated by emotions or the whims and caprice of the decision makers, adding that decision making comprised a series of sequential activities that together structure the process and facilitate its conclusion.

The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Benson Oke, added that as to the matter of decision-making styles, the need for senior officers to develop a decision-making style that would make the proper implementation of government policies effective and would be tuned to achieving intended goals could never be over-emphasised.

“There is the need for senior level executives to appreciate the fundamental differences in the character of their decision-making responsibilities and to develop a decision-making style that is unique to their responsibilities and job description,” he said.

Ambode noted that to make informed decision, directors must establish objectives, classify and prioritise objectives; develop selection criteria, identify alternatives, evaluate alternatives against the selection criteria; choose the alternative that best satisfied the selection criteria and implement the decision.

According to the governor, directors must concentrate on the problem at hand in order to keep the discussion very specific and avoids the group’s tendency to address the events leading up to the current problem, as well as entertain all ideas.

He also charged directors to refrain from allowing members to evaluate others’ ideas on the spot, saying that all judgments should be deferred until all thoughts were presented, and the group concurred on the best ideas.

“Although, brainstorming is the most common technique to develop alternative solutions, executives can also use a variant of the technique such as the Nominal group technique.This method involves the use of a highly structured meeting, complete with an agenda, and restricts discussion or interpersonal communication during the decision‐making process.

“This technique is useful because it ensures that every group member has equal input in the decision‐making process. It also avoids some of the pitfalls, such as pressure to conform, group dominance, hostility, and conflict, that can plague a more interactive, spontaneous, unstructured forum such as brainstorming,” he said.

Ambode stated that at the end of the training, it was the expectation of government that directors of the Lagos State Civil Service would become better equipped to make effective decisions that were rational, informed, and collaborative and thus greatly reducing opportunity costs while building a strong organizational focus; better appreciate that psychological style to decision-making favoured individual values, desires, and needs to determine the best course of action, among others.