In some ways it was easier in the old days. You could make a quick decision on your own and make it stick. No committees to bring in or research to run. Likewise, no communications to contend with, or special interest groups to deal with. In the old days you could simply "decree" something - yes, you could even use the word as a verb.
But of course, there were also down-sides to decrees. Without searching for evidence, the decisions were sometimes hopeful rather than realistic. Without asking for other opinions and inputs, the plan was not properly considered and was just asking for criticism, or even condemnation. The chance to learn and to enhance was never realized. And of course, there was an inevitable sense of unfairness with your "subjects" and a good reason for them to make accusations of favouritism.
One would think that decrees (also known as snap policy decisions) are a thing of the distant past. However, this is sadly not the case as there are plenty of contemporary examples to draw from across a variety of sectors. Indeed, when was the last time you encountered a properly-weighted proposition that was evidence-based, transparent, reasoned, and had practically taken on board a balance of opinions?
So indeed we are perhaps still living in the "old days", and finding that though this may be easier in some ways, it is definitely not better.