DAIC DAIC give me your answer please

DAIC, which sounds like Daisy, is one of those BSchool/Psychology-Today frameworks I picked up at some point in my work life. It’s mnemonic for four roles that employee’s might play in the process of reaching a decision:

  • Driver
  • Approver
  • Informed
  • Consultant

Since entrepreneurs ran the organization inside of which I learned this particular framework they most loved the role of Driver; but in different organizations you tend more affection for one or another role. I have, for example, worked in organizations where the consulting and informed roles were dominate. Some groups do a fine job without one or another role. Some groups manage to get into a dysfunctional modality where two roles are in opposition and the others are ignored.

This model is pretty good, as these thing go. It gets better if you start to dig into the complexity of performing any one of these roles. That’s easier to think about if you add in a fifth entity; i.e. the decision being made.  Make it concrete: a proposal, a mailing list, a meeting, a plan, etc.  The players then rendezvous around that. That is pretty standard advice in the negotiation literature; e.g. that multiparty negotiations can only work if you rendezvous around a single text.

Once that rendezvous point, that single-text, is introduced then you can begin to see some very constructive things about how the role of each of the four kinds above should play out.

  • Driver: keep the text moving, enable others to succeed at their role.
  • Approver: own/disown, sign, accept, embrace, reject, comprehend, send back the text.
  • Informed: comprehend, monitor, and as necessary demand access to the text
  • Consultant: add value, critique, collaborate, network

Any of these parties can cause the process to fail by intent, neglect, or (more typcially) by misunderstanding their role. Any of these players can become quite powerful by if they play their role with skill.  Any one of these can be the dominate one in shaping the resulting decision.

By way of example; those in the informed role often presume they lack power to shape the outcome and think they have only the power to obstruct; and certainly that is one of the powers inherent in that role.  But you can do a lot of shaping by asking the right questions and assuring that your actually informed – that process can cause huge course corrections.

0 thoughts on “DAIC DAIC give me your answer please

  1. Zack

    This suggests a fun computer game. The player is told that they have the task of either making a text succeed or making it fail. The player is then told under what conditions each type of decision maker will make what decision. The list of rules would include things like:

    If any player chooses to “add value”, then any Approver will “disown” and “send back the text.”
    If any player chooses to “critique” the text, than any Informed will “demand access to the text” and then do nothing for 3 turns.
    If any player with access to the text does nothing for 2 or more turns, then any Driver will give access to the text to another player chosen in this order: Approver, Consultant, Driver, Informed.
    If any Consultant does not have “access to the text”, they will “network” by connecting any two players at random.
    For any two players connected by a “network” act, if one of them has access to the text, so does the other.

    And the list goes on.

    The the computer generates a random group of workers: W numbers of Drivers, X numbers of Approvers, Y numbers of Informed, and Z numbers of Consultants. The number of each can vary from 0 to, say, 3.

    The player then has to write a set of rules for their own character that will achieve their assigned goal once the game is set in motion. Once the game is set in motion, each character–including player–behaves exactly according to their own rules.

    It would be fun for the whole family!

  2. bhyde

    A fine idea; though it’s more fun to play in the full contact version (which bears a surprising resemblance to Calvin ball). Though you appear to have noticed the fatal flaw in the DAIC approach, there is no decider. The approvers scope of action is limited to accepting or rejecting proposals placed in front on her. In the real life version the informed often turn to the aprover and say “well?” and she turns to the driver and says “well?” and the driver turns to consultants and says “well?” and the consultants say “it’s complex; shall I explain why?” As you say, fun for or all.

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