Behavioural competencies for Management: Decisiveness

Management behavioural competency (PDF, 91 KB)

Makes timely and soundFootnote 1 decisions based on analysis of the information presented in the face of ambiguous or conflicting situations or when there is an associated risk. It involves being able to know when to stop collecting data when sufficient information is obtained and make decisions that consider available evidence, weighs information based on relevancy and accurately identifies the consequences of decisions or actions against desired outcome (based on available information at the time).
Scale progression
The scale progresses from making timely yet basic decisions in simple situations to making complex and strategic decisions in ambiguous situations.

Level 1

Makes decisions in routine context

  • Makes and implements routine decisions in a timely manner.
  • Consults and seeks necessary information on which to base decisions but is not paralyzed by the analysis.
  • Confidently deals with "clear cut" situations.
  • Selects solutions based on pre-identified alternatives or known options.
  • Understands when an "80% solution" is sufficient and acts accordingly.

Level 2

Makes decisions in ambiguous situations

  • Recognizes conflicting data when it surfaces and determines appropriate responses in a timely manner.
  • Uses sound judgement in making decisions; is comfortable making "leaps of faith" when experience and data point to a logical direction.
  • Weighs appropriately available information when choosing the best protocol.
  • Autonomously manages competing priorities and acts to obtain desired outcomes.
  • Makes and implements decisions when faced with differing stakeholder perspectives and/or some missing information, based on the needs and objectives of NRC and/or the research centre.
  • Takes ownership of decisions and ensures they are consistent with legislation, precedent and established policies and procedures.
  • Makes the appropriate "call" given what is known at the time.

Level 3

Makes decisions when under pressure or in a crisis

  • Makes time-sensitive decisions even when only limited information may be available but is sufficient enough in order to exercise solid judgment.
  • Acknowledges personal responsibility for outcomes of decisions made during crisis.
  • Makes the right call; stays true and is not influenced by undue interferences or threats.
  • Acts promptly and with confidence when a situation requires a quick decision.
  • Keeps composure during difficult times, in a crisis or under pressure; acts decisively to resolve business issues.
  • Promptly decides what activities and projects need to be done even though they may not be easy or have popular support.
  • Selects an appropriate response by seeing beyond the obvious and superficial through steadied observation rather than emotion.

Level 4

Makes decisions in ambiguous or risky situations

  • Makes and implements decisions where required information is incomplete, contradictory and/or ambiguous.
  • Makes a reasoned selection between methods, systems or procedures where guidelines are broad.
  • Implements ideas and approaches that are likely to add value, but that may not have a favourable result.
  • Makes decisions having significant consequences that are favourable for the organization, consistent with NRC values and able to withstand public scrutiny.
  • Puts systems in place to proactively monitor risks and determine acceptable risk tolerances.

Level 5

Makes sound strategic decisions in very ambiguous situations using advanced techniques

  • Makes decisions with significant consequences that are highly favourable for NRC and free from political influence.
  • Depicts impeccable judgement; takes educated risks and makes innovative and creative decisions when pursuing and implementing new approaches and strategies.
  • Makes and implements strategic decisions based on principles, values and sound business arguments.
  • Champions initiatives with significant potential paybacks, and possible adverse consequences, based on an assessment of the risks and benefits, such as overall business impact, etc.
  • Integrates risk management into program/research centre management and organizational planning.
  • Makes a reasoned decision between methods, systems or procedures where no guidelines exist.