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Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System: Values-Based Decision Making

Assemble the right participants.

Values-based decision making, except for emergent circumstances, calls for participants who represent relevant interests, who possess relevant technical knowledge, who may provide relevant information, and who represent your unit’s mission and ministry functions. Your administrators, managers and board members have responsibility for Salvation Army core values integration, along with your Divisional and Territorial leaders.

Assemble the right facts.

This model of values-based decision making is characterized by its factual basis and accuracy. The facts of any case or situation will determine the appropriate application of the core values. Facts will also determine whether previous decisions in similar circumstances will again be applied, or an exception granted. Assembling the relevant information for a decision is in itself a values-based activity.

Clarify the core values.

Salvation Army core values are made explicit in the decision making process. This occurs in two ways. First, the meanings of the core values are extended to fit the factual situation. Second, a determination is made whether the factual situation dictates any priority among the core values. Values-based decision making is clear on what the core values actually mean in “these circumstances” and on whether “these circumstances” make it more important to promote some core values over others (for example, Respect over Compassion).

Reach a collaborative consensus.

This model of values-based decision making aims at consensus, but not necessarily unanimity, among decision makers. In this model, perfect consensus involves agreement among all decision makers regarding the outcome dictated by the core values. Imperfect consensus involves disagreement over outcome, where all the decision makers are satisfied that the core values were properly considered and that the decision making process was appropriate. All decisions require at least imperfect consensus except in emergent circumstances and/or for extraordinary reasons.

Broadcast the values-based decision.

Values-based decisions end with effective and clear communication to affected stakeholders of the decision; the core values rationalization for the decisions, and the outcome of the decision making process. Confidential information may be excluded from any communication. Communications must avoid suggesting justifications for the decision that were not actually involved in the decision making.

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Adapted with permission.