If the owner does not trust the manager to make decisions that are clearly within the manager's role, then the owner needs to get a new manager. If it is not clear which decisions the manager can make and which must be referred to the owner, then a governance policy is called for, and since it is the manager who feels constrained then he/she should not feel undermined by a suggestion that such a policy be put in place. But ... it almost sounds like the culture is that the team can oppose any decision the manager might make and can appeal to the owner; in that case there is no need for a manager at all. Not knowing the conditions at your company, I cannot say which is the best route for it, but something needs to change. It is unlikely that an extremely insecure owner will give up any control and allow the manager to do his/her job. So, either the company should save money and reduce friction by eliminating the role of the irrelevant manager role. Or, given the current economic conditions, the company might choose to replace the team with people who are willing to work under direction.
The ultimate responsibility for making decisions has to rest with an individual. If too many people try to be the boss, they spoil everything. There are adviser's and there is the decision maker. Adviser's are not held accountable; the decision maker is.
The right decision maker is the person who has the responsibility assigned to make that decision.
By the way you have asked the question, the person who has that responsibility is the Manager, who is not committing to it. The Manager is seeking your permission to make a decision, is not correct. I would suggest that you need to make the owner aware of this predicament; once the owner is aware, then an open session with he Manager could be held by the owner asking the Manager to step up to their responsibilities. I suspect the Manager is trying to ensure that decisions they make will not be upsetting the owner who trusts you.
Simply put " the one with the right answer." The right answer is the right answer backed by facts.
Talk with the manager first and find out what is the issue. Then make a decision whether togo to the owner.
Great question and there are multiple answers, pivots on your choice of the word 'right'.
(background to me, relevant to this response: In my 30+ successful years coaching leaders individually and in groups, one common fail-safe trigger (easily addressed) must be resolved before I accept an assignment. And I have turned down many lucrative, dead-end offers. I empower leaders to achieve improved, measurable results, guaranteed in writing.)
The fail-safe trigger to resolve? Those with authority to make decisions, don't have the proper information. And those with the proper information, don't have decision-making authority. I
I recall, in a workshop with Gen Colin Powell years ago where he showed us how the highest US senior decision makers in his day were making decisions with under 40% of available information. He even showed us the formula the US Gov't was using to decide matters affecting the nation. Yikes!!
To do: As a first step in any results-oriented team-based project, I apply a values-driven system (part of my Get UNstuck NOW! system) for each and every team member involved, top to bottom, including the C-levels and the receptionist(s). It ensures buy-in to seek and act on the best information available at the time of a decision ... including making that information available, regardless of who has or created it - no space for keeping it close to your chest.
Let me know how I can be of further service on this key leadership topic.
The people chosen by the owner of the company. For whatever reason the owner of the company placed people in a position of consultation. This is often done because the owner is not getting what he wants from management. In such cases the right decision maker is the chosen one, which has the authority of the owner.
Doesn't that depend on the magnitude and impact of the decision? In a well run company with a clear organization chart and job descriptions these kinds of issues would not be a problem. Too many unknowns for a clear answer here.
Trusted people chosen by the owner. In most cases of a small company, the trusted person is the manager. If the trusted person is not the manager, the owner needs to make it clear to everyone involved that the chosen person is the point of contact (POC) for the consultant.
This is a strange question, or maybe I misunderstand. The right decision maker varies by situation, and is certainly impacted by company culture. For sure decision making processes are often not strictly hierarchical, and corporate politics are often to be considered. Understanding all these dynamics is critical.
It seems to me that the manager is avoiding responsibilities and the question should really be why that might be the case.
Forget the owner, been there and done that with very poor results. The question is..."how does the owner know if the person can be relied on to do the job?". What experience does the owner have to judge the qualifications and being the owner does not mean he/she has the relevant experience or skills.
The right decision maker is the person who understands the issues and has the experience and independence to bring a successful resolution.
Simply said; first define the goals and expected outcomes, develop a plan and see who is best suited to achieve the desired outcomes.
The way the question is worded leads me to believe that there is bad dynamic at the company.
The right decision maker should be the manager assigned to that area of responsibility.
If the company owner has trusted people chosen outside his management team, he is setting up people to fail. The owner's trusted people and managers should be same group.
Its not about who takes a decision.....the important point is what is the decision taken!! Decision must be taken based on facts and with logic and relevance as prime considerations. In order to bring and maintain order in any company, the relevant department and the relevant person in the department must take decisions for that department/job of that dept.
The decision made has to be based on informed position, if there is inadequate analysis of what is it, that the decision has to be made about, facts, timescales, resources etc, then it very doubtful as to any coming up with the correct decision. Context of the problem, current situation, proposal of solution, request decision.
KISS, keep it simple, st***d
I don't define decision makers as "right" or "wrong." I do, however, reach out to the individual who will most likely provide the answer I seek (based on their role within the organization).
The decision maker is, by definition, the person with the authority to make decisions, whether these entail purchasing products or services, hiring/firing staff, future direction of the company, etc. While it's perfectly acceptable to use a collaborative vs. hierarchical business structure, ultimately the group will need to come to consensus, and a spokesperson appointed in order to take action. If the company owner has delegated decision making to a manager, then it is up to the manager to decide how the company is organized and run.
Decision is being made by the trusted owners of the company. But the basis of the decision making depends upon the quality of information provided by the respective managers of the company. The better the quality of information provided by the respective managers, it will lead to the better decisions being taken by the owners.
In this regard the role of manager in the detrimental process of decision making in the interest of the company is key for the right decisions being taken.
The decision maker could be somebody not invlved in the business, say, the owner's wife. So finding out the decision maker is necessary. I believe you are in a situation wherein some employees who have been with the owner for many years and are trsuted by him are feeling threatended by the appointment of a manager from outside the company who maybe more professional but takes decisions in consultation with the employees who he knows are trusted by the employer so that the responsiblity for errors lies with the trusted employees and not with him.