Organizing Team Decision Making

Reaching Consensus for Better Decisions

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Consensus is often essential.

While many of the decisions we make on a daily basis are quite simple, some are not.

These decisions may involve assimilating a huge amount of information, exploring many different ideas, and drawing on many strands of experience.

And the consequences of the right or wrong decision may be profound for the team and the organization.

So, should leaders be decisive, think the issues through on their own, and take firm action?

In some cases, no.

There's a limit to how much information any one individual can process, and a limit on how many perspectives one person can see. Many decisions need full group participation to explore the situation, provide input, and make a final choice. As you've probably seen, groups can often make better decisions than any one person operating on his or her own. This is one of the main reasons that good companies have boards, to which important decisions are taken.

What's more, many decisions need "buy-in" from the people affected by them if they're to be implemented successfully, and it's hard to get this buy-in if people haven't been involved in the decision-making process.

The problem is that when you bring other people into the decision-making process, you need to approach decisions differently. These approaches vary, depending on a number of different factors, including:...

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