The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


The Approval-Process…

Do you have any external proposals or internal initiatives/ideas that are waiting for an approval?  What exactly is the process to get to an approval anyway?  Does it still involve a rubber stamp?

rubber stamp

In business, a lot has been said and a lot has been written about decision making; there seems to be less thought leadership available on the Approval-Process.

(“Thought Leadership”, now there’s a catchy phrase in vogue today, yes?  I never thought, “Thought Leadership” would make it into one of my little ditties.  What is “Thought Leadership”, anyway?  I wonder – does the Approval-Process get waylaid with random thoughts like this?  But I digress.) 

Is the approver in the Approval-Process also the “Decision-Maker”; the “Economic-Buyer”; “VITO”?  Is a decision even required to finalize an approval?  What does an approver do to make the approval, anyway?  And what do they do when they don’t approve? 

            Not to decide is to decide.

Harvey Cox 

I was speaking with an Executive at our company the other day that I interact with from time-to-time.  I had an idea that could enhance the work I do with his team.  My boss thought it was a good idea, but since it would impact another department, we wanted that department Executive’s approval before proceeding. 

I wrote a synopsis including the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed idea; emailed it to the Executive and received this response, “Sounds good at first blush; let me chew on it a bit.”  “Chew on it a bit”, does the Approval-Process simulate one’s appetite?  Maybe that’s what the approvers do – they go out to eat.  And how long is, “a bit” anyway? 

To be fair to our approvers, I’m sure they need to weigh advantages and disadvantages of approving our recommendations.  I bet they keep a close eye out for the “Department of Unintended Consequences”, too.  I was thinking about that department while at a ball game last weekend.  It started with, “Why am I paying $8.00 for a beer?”  I thought the team owners were gouging the fans with high prices (which, of course, they are). 

But by the time we reached the 7th inning and I had a group of rowdy, drunken, profanity-laced  fans a few rows in front of me, I realized that if beer were any cheaper, I’d likely be totally surrounded by rowdy, drunken, profanity-laced fans by the 2nd inning!  Yep – the Department of Unintended Consequences even exists at the ball park. 

Maybe approvers take our proposals to the “committee”: 

A decision is what people make when they can’t find anyone to serve on a committee. 

Unknown Sage 

And in the sales profession, we all face the challenges of decision by committee, true? 

We’re into the era where a committee designs airplanes.  You never do anything totally stupid; you never do anything totally bright.  You get an average, wrong answer.

Kelly Johnson 

Is that what happened to the battery design in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner? 

Well, my Executive who I turned to for an Approval-Process and who wanted to “chew on it a bit”, still hasn’t let me know whether to punt or proceed.  It’s no big deal, really; it was just a process-improvement idea.  Not every idea is a good idea; and not every good idea can be implemented.  But I’m still not sure how long, “a bit” is. 

I suspect he has decided not to make a decision, which of course, is a decision. 


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.



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