|Training for Elected Leadership - The Councillor as Decision-maker (HABITAT, 1994, 22 p.)|
|Part I. Essay on the councillor as decision-maker|
One of the best ways we know of to be sure you're focused on the problem and maker not a symptom or solution is to "talk to your problem"- to ask a lot of questions. It is also an effective way to begin the problem-analysis phase of the decision-making process. To be a good decision-maker, you need to be clear what you are making decisions about. In the case of decisions to solve problems, we find the following questions helpful.
What is the problem we are trying to solve? (The answer may not be so obvious.)
· Why is this a problem?
· Who are the stakeholders in the problem? Who, besides us councillors, would like to see it solved? (They may also be part of the future solution.)
· Where is it a problem? (Only in my part of the municipality, or all over?)
· When is it a problem? (For example, is it seasonal or does it only happen on Monday?)
· How long has it been a problem? (If it's a long-standing problem, this may say something about the ability or the will of previous councils to solve it.)
· What would happen if the council didn't do anything to solve the problem? (This may be the most important question. If you speculate that nothing would happen, it may not be that serious.)