Misreading the impact that the decision would have on

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misreading the impact that the decision would have on stakeholders and of failing to recognise that a decision of this kind, that would elicit an emotional response from many stakeholders, needed to have a fuller, longer consultation strategy that would give all sides the opportunity to discuss properly the implications of the proposal. (1) Those against the proposal made good use of the media to publicise their opposition and build up support for their opposition to the proposal. The Health Secretary under-estimated the strength of feeling and the degree of mobilisation of the opponents and, while the intention to consult was a good one, the execution led to mistrust and antipathy on the part of those the Health Secretary sought to involve in the decision making. (1) Another problem for the Health Secretary was the cost of
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SL Examination Guide June 2015 Page 19 the consultation, which was seized on by opponents as an opportunity to demonstrate waste of public money that could have been spent on health care.(1) Similar challenges exist for internal consultation – the consultation needs to be inclusive. In the example of an office move, all staff in all current locations need to be consulted, even if the move may not affect them personally. (1) It also needs to be timely – consultation at a late stage in the project, when major decisions have been made by senior managers, will be seen by staff as “too little, too late” and could lead to opposition to the moves and an uncooperative response from staff. (1) Leaders need to make it clear to staff what they can influence so that they manage staff expectations, making it more likely that the staff response will be positive. (1) These examples illustrate the need to plan the consultation strategy in such a way that those being consulted have sufficient time and sufficient opportunities to give their input to the process. It also illustrates the need to consider the impact that the proposed decision might have on stakeholders and be prepared for strength of feeling and how to deal with that as part of an effective consultation process. Credit will be given for other relevant points made and relevant examples. (10)
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SL Examination Guide June 2015 Page 20 Examiner’s comments on question 4 This question was the most popular of Part B of the exam paper, being attempted by 93% of candidates. In two parts, the question required candidates to assess the benefits of involving others in shaping decisions and to consider how this can best be done, and difficulties that could be encountered. There were many strong answers to this question, where candidates were able to give examples from within and outside an organisation, showing a good understanding of the benefits and challenges involved when a range of interested parties participate in decision making.
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