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Condo President
Creating High Performing Condo and Homeowner Associations
Decision Making is often the silent killer of a condo or homeowner association if its quality is not monitored and upheld.  At the same time it can be its lifeblood if it is developed, monitored and managed properly. The good news is that this is a skill that can be learned and improved.
Why Would I Need This Book?

Almost all successes and failures in any organization can be traced back to decisions that were made (or not made).  Yet it is also the single most common aspect of organizational reality that is neglected or given very little attention.  When it is not neglected, it is often over-simplified.

When a condo or homeowner association Board of Directors (BoD) does not make timely decisions, they can miss deadlines, hold up projects, waste resources, and frustrate others who are waiting for the decisions.  Successful BoD leaders have learned that action is vital. They know procrastination kills.  As a result, they place a high priority on rapid decision making and have developed the skill of making the best decision possible with the best information possible in the timeliest manner.

Since decision making is a skill, it can be learned and improved.  As a person gains more experience in making decisions, they will improve their confidence and ability.  When they adopt tools and processes that facilitate timely decision making, it will lead to consistent, high-quality results.  This book will provide you the tools and resources to do both.
Book Features

  • A step-by-step guide on how to improve your individual decision-making skills and that of your association
  • A description of "pre-requisites" that should be in place to facilitate rapid decision making for your association.
  • A decision-making process for your association that is founded in best practices, proven results, and does so in a manner that most effectively uses your valuable time.
  • Over 110 pages of material including; sample documents of all the necessary forms, templates, and instructions needed to install the recommended decision-making process.
How Will It Help Me?

  • It saves you time and effort!  An organized and systematic decision-making process usually leads to better decisions.  Without a well-defined process, you risk making decisions that are based on insufficient information and analysis.  That usually results in a poor decision that in turn has negative financial or personal consequences.   Decisions won’t stick - they will be revisited again, people will implement actions not chosen, or the results of the decision will be invisible in a matter of weeks.  A high quality and timely decision can help avoid all of this turmoil.
  • You will improve your decision-making skills.  Since decision-making is a skill -- it can  be learned and improved.  As you gain more experience making decisions, and as you become more familiar with the tools and structures needed for effective decision-making, you'll improve your confidence and skill set.
  • It makes your BoD look good!  Your BoD will come across as competent and qualified leaders who know how to make the necessary decisions (simple or complex) for your association.   Association members will gain trust and confidence in a BoD who can make high quality and timely decisions.
Table Of Contents
The essence of condo or homeowners association management is making decisions.  A Board of Directors (BoD) is constantly required to evaluate alternatives and make choices regarding a wide range of issues that impact their association. Therefore, it goes without saying that successful boards are good decision makers.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that they only make good decisions, but rather that they can make bold, timely decisions, and they are not afraid to make adjustments along the way, as needed.  They place a high priority on being fast and not necessarily always being 100% right.  Although you may think it is risky to make a quick, and possibly incorrect, decision, the reality is that timeliness is crucial in today’s ever changing and equally challenging environment for any business, including an association. 

The focus of this book is on how to make rapid and effective decisions in an association environment. Speed is the name of the game and you will find that it can prevent and solve many ills of your association.  But, it must carefully be intertwined with simplicity and self-confidence.  By simplifying your association’s management and decision making processes and instilling confidence in the decision makers, you create the foundation for sound decision making and a well-run association.

Although many people can gain valuable insights from this book, it is specifically targeted towards the people primarily responsible for making decisions in a condo or homeowner association, including; BoD members, a Management Company Manager, and Committee Chairpersons.  The objective is to help you make timely decisions and effective decisions -- particularly in the face of uncertainty.   This book will provide you with:
  • An understanding of why rapid decision making is important to you and your association
  • Necessary steps needed to create the right decision making environment
  • Tools and tips for making a rapid decisions and evaluating ideas
  • Business processes and templates to simplify your association decision making process

You will likely find this book to be different from other business books.  It is not going to give you a horde of analytical research, detailed information on a multitude of topics related to decision making, or an array of options to help you fit every potential situation that you may face.  However, it will give you a simple solution that has been tried and tested and found to work the overwhelming majority of time.  This recommended approach does not represent itself to the perfect solution to all decision making situations.  There are too many variables and there are plenty of resources out there to give you all the research proof, empirical data, complex decision making models, or human behavior studies that you may ever need or want.  But, in spirit of the 80/20 rule, I will give you 20% of the information to solve 80% of your problems.

This book has as its foundation several best practices, operating tactics, and winning strategies that have a strong track record of success in many different types of businesses and world-class organizations.  They are solid.  Most of the time, they will be operating in the background and you may not even notice that they are been used.  But, rest assured that the techniques and processes being offered in the book are grounded in sound theoretical research and have withstood the test of time.  A detailed discussion of each of these principles can be found in Appendix A.
  • 80/20 Principle.  Taken literally, in the case of managing a condo or homeowner association, this means that 80 percent of what you achieve comes from 20 percent of the time spent.
  • Waste elimination.  A key principle in any Lean system, it strives to eliminate any activity that is wasteful and doesn't add value or is unproductive.
  • Customer Relationship Management. Customer Relationship Management is the management of customer communication over a relationship continuum. It includes specific efforts to build relationships between a BoD and association members, who are treated as "customers" for everything that they do.
  • Decision Theory, Human Behavior, and Group Dynamics.  In the context of decision making, this can be regarded as the mental processes (cognitive process) resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternative scenarios.  Every decision-making process produces a final choice with the output being an action or an opinion of choice.
  • Open Communication.  Developing a climate in which you and your members are open with information is critical for your association and BoD to function effectively.
  • Clear Roles and Responsibilities.  Some BoD members may not have prior experience in their role, while others may have held similar positions but must learn how to adapt to the unique needs of a particular association.  As with any effective team, BoD members can’t perform effectively if role questions or overlaps are present.
  • Establishment of Several Key Business Processes.   Key business processes are those processes which have maximum impact on the success of an association.  Whether they're formal or informal, documented or not, they define how a business works.
  • Decision Packages.  A decision package is an aid for BoD's to make decisions and contains the key facts that should be known about an issue and a recommended course of action, all put together in a very condensed package.
  • Completed Staff Work.  Completed staff work is the study of a problem, and presentation of a solution, by an association member (or designated person), in such form that all that remains to be done on the part of the BoD is to indicate approval or disapproval of the completed action.
  • Nemawashi.  Nemawashi is the Japanese practice of informally sounding out people’s ideas about a project or a course of action before a formal proposal is drawn up..
Preface
The Preface and Table Of Contents, you should give you a feel for what this book provides and how it is organized. 

Warning and Disclaimer 3

PREFACE 4

INTRODUCTION 8

WHO ARE THE REAL DECISION MAKERS? 16

YOU AND YOUR PERSONAL DECISION-MAKING PROCESS 20

YOUR ASSOCIATION AND IT'S DECISION MAKING PROCESS 29

PRE-REQUISITES FOR USE OF THE PRINCIPLES USED IN THIS BOOK 32
  • Create or Verify Your Association's Mission 32
  • Draft or Verify Detailed BoD Roles & Responsibilities 34
  • Draft or Verify BoD Decision Responsibility Matrix 35
  • Set up an electronic communication system 37
  • Install the decision-making business process 37

HOW TO MAKE DECISIONS FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION 41
A situation requiring a decision is identified 42
Simple decisions go directly to BoD Decision Meeting. 44
Complex decisions require a decision package 46
Present Decision Package to the BoD 47
Initiate the 10-Day Clock Feedback Process 49
Conduct Association Decision Meeting 50
Finalize Decision 52

SUMMARY 54

Appendix A – Principles Used In This Book 56
Appendix B – BoD Roles & Responsibilities 82
Appendix C – RACI Chart Matrix 87
Appendix D – Request For Decision Process 91
Appendix E – 10-Day Clock Feedback Process 95
Appendix F – Notice Of Action (NOA) 99
Appendix G – 5-Why's Problem Solving Technique 100
Appendix H - Request For Decision Instruction Package 102

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 108

INDEX 109

Terms & Conditions of Use Agreement 111