Marjolijn de Graaf & Edwin de Graaf - Decisions by Design

Four Steps for Supported Decisions


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The guidebook for change management and game changers that leads to supported decisions and better results.

Decisions by Design is a simple and powerful tool to achieve active participation and the best and the most sustainable decisions. Four design steps lead you as game changer in a collaborative and interactive manner with all stakeholders to crucial and supported decisions which acknowledges all different perspectives and truths.

Decisions by Design:
• From an imposed change to a supported future.
• A process-driven approach towards practical results.
• A focus on quality by evidence-driven decisions.

Marjolijn and Edwin de Graaf are the driving forces behind Impact Company, which facilitates changers and leaders towards successful organizations with a sustainable impact and better involvement.

Published in April 2017 | Hardcover | With illustrations | 224 pages | ca. 45,000 words
Full German manuscript available
Longlisted for Management Book of the Year
German rights sold to Schäffer-Poeschel
Dutch edition published by Management Impact

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Marjolijn de Graaf is a change architect with a user friendly approach. She graduated in Human Factors engineering for her Psychology study and worked with a large IT-consultant with large scale interventions and change management. After working in various change projects in both profit and nonprofit organizations, she started Impact Company with her husband Edwin. Impact Company facilitates changers and leaders towards successful organizations with a sustainable impact and better involvement.


'Decisions by Design offers a thorough and practical book on decision-making that is beneficial for every manager and change maker. The foundation is an easy to use model that is adaptable to how the human mind works. But what happens automatically and logically on an intra-personal level doesn’t always happens in group dynamics. The authors reduce the decision-making process to four clear consecutive steps, providing a canvas that helps groups to make well-thought out and supported decisions. And due to the years of experience of the authors as process and change architects, the model has been empirically tested.'
Guido van de Wiel, bestselling author and editor

'Decisions by Design contains useful ideas that I am happy to apply in the change management practice. It is an inspiring book, clearly written and with a lot of attention to the theory as to how you can execute the ideas, especially as a facilitator, and what you should pay attention to.'
Anke Zindler, Dutch State Water Department

'As a Change Management Consultant, I am regularly in situations where the interests of several stakeholders have to be taken into account in a decision, proposal or approach. Every advisor developed their own techniques and tricks, but we lacked a solid and pragmatic approach to unite different parties to one point of view. By following the four steps of Decisions by Design, I have improved my ability to map all interests, get stakeholders to discuss their ideas and create an understanding to cooperate on making decisions with a mutual understanding. I recommend the book for anyone who has to connect stakeholders with different and conflicting interests. Management consultants, product owners, CIOs or quartermasters.'
Guido van Gemerden, ICT Change Manager

'The authors have years of experience in coaching group discussions and know very well how to translate that experience in practical tips, tools and techniques. Their insights not only help you understand the process, but also apply them. They combine a firm approach of the process design for decision-making with a developed sense for human interaction.'
Robert Verheule, Dutch State Water Department

'The Decisions by Design method has a lot of added value. It leads you to a group decision in a simple and structured manner and the end result is a strong and supported decision. With Decisions by Design you get the best out of your employees and your organization, I highly recommend it!'
Prof. Dr. Emile Aart, Tilburg University

'The authors have given me a wonderful new view on decision-making that I will apply most certainly!'
Benjamin Blaauw, ABN Amro Bank



Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Four steps for result-driven decision-making
Intermezzo – Decisions by Design in change processes

Chapter 3 Decision Design Canvas
Chapter 4 Design and group dynamics
Intermezzo – More and more stakeholders

Chapter 5 Step 1 – Sharing facts
Chapter 6 Step 2 – Reflect
Intermezzo – Continuous making choices

Chapter 7 Step 3 – New insights
Intermezzo – The distance between the decision and its execution

Chapter 8 Step 4 – Decisions
Intermezzo – The need to reshape decision-making

Chapter 9 The value of Decisions by Design in organizations

The power and conditions for group decision-making
About the authors

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German translation published by Schäffer-Poeschel:

Mit der Methode der Autoren können fundierte Entscheidungen mit Gruppen oder Teams erarbeitet werden. Decisions by Design führt durch den Entscheidungsfindungsprozess und ermöglicht, aus den verschiedenen Perspektiven nachhaltige Ergebnisse zu erzielen.

Es ist nicht leicht, eine gemeinsame Entscheidung zu erzielen. Abgesehen davon, dass alle Beteiligten andere Vorstellungen haben, lauern in Gruppen-Entscheidungsprozessen auch zahlreiche Fallen, wie Tunnelblick, Selbstüberschätzung, Interessenkonflikt oder Denkfehler.

Decisions by Design macht Sie zum Change Agent und führt in vier Schritten zu Entscheidungen, in denen die Perspektiven und Realitäten aller Beteiligten Beachtung finden:
• Fakten teilen
• Nachdenken
• Neue Erkenntnisse gewinnen
• Entscheidung treffen

Diese Entscheidungsmethode bewirkt, dass sich sowohl das Ergebnis als auch der Einsatz und die Zufriedenheit der Beteiligten nachhaltig verbessern und führt zu Entscheidungen, die von der Gruppe getragen werden und zugleich ergebnisorientiert sind.

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