Decisions, Decisions

Is decision making and the process that entails a marker for success in your company? 

I've been examining the SSC process  recently as we are expanding and I'm wanting to make sure that we continue to do things in the best possible way, so for various reasons I've been comparing internal SSC ways to those of other organisations.

I'm intrigued.
The key questions appear to be :
Do all decisions need to be handled the same?
At what stage of company development should there be delegation and budget responsibility.?
How can you define a strategic decision and who should be involved in that?

All organisations need to work those answers out for themselves and keep them under review.

But what when it goes wrong? What can that tell you as a company about where you are at?
And what does it communicate, perhaps subtley to clients and the outside world?

Different topics require different levels of consideration. Sales issues require a secure, determined and speedy decision making process. Being unable to make the decision about what to do, taking weeks over a simple binary choice could indicate that you are reticent or unsure of your product and how to approach your market. Or it could tell you that your sales process isn't flexible enough and needs review.
Other areas, such as the decision to recruit new staff need lengthier consideration, and the decision to form a partnership to co-create a new product needs weighty and deep planning, complete with fact-finding and should not be rushed.

Decisions which require face-2-face meetings of senior staff can be useful, but in busy small companies are not always possible. Other mechanisms need to be employed - Skype, email conversations. If a decision which should be taken in a single quick conversation, especially if that decision has been promised to an external partner or potential customer, takes more than 48hours you may have a problem. If it takes multiple weeks, then you definitely do. SSC has a system where outstanding issues are flagged and raised to the top of the "to do" chart on a weekly basis. It works for us, we have 6 people across 5 locations and we regulary use skype discussions to get decisions made and action plans formed. I wonder if we had a central office would we rely more on face-2-face and would that slow us down?