Team
Decision
Making

What’s at stake when we talk about making better decisions? Whatever happened to failing fast and learning from mistakes?

Although it’s crucial for leaders to know how to gracefully tolerate failure, making good decisions is still directly proportional to your organization’s speed of growth and success. You don’t have unlimited resources or goodwill from your people. Normalizing suboptimal decision-making can have disastrous consequences for teams operating in thin margins with scarce resources.

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Key factors to consider when choosing the
best decision making method are:
  1. Can we easily identify primary owners
    of decisions and outcomes?
  2. How important is the issue to the team?
    To the organization?
  3. How much time do we have to make the decision?
  4. What’s at stake if we don’t make a decision quickly?
  5. How qualified are our team members to make
    the decision?
    (Think: expertise, skills, knowledge, experience)
  6. Does the group have a history of making decisions
    collaboratively?
  7. How much buy-in do we need for successful
    implementation?
  8. Are there any development opportunities if
    we delegate a decision?

Although consensus is a highly aspirational and prized decision making method in today’s workplace, not all organizations are designed to accommodate this as a primary method. Consensus is time consuming and requires specific cultural and behavioral norms to drive it.

But it is still the best method when you want to get maximum buy-in. Here are some useful alternatives to provide your team so that you can get closer to consensus without spending hours in meetings that go nowhere:

  1. I will block this decision.
  2. I don’t like the decision, but I will not block it.
  3. I can live with the decision.
  4. This decision is our best option.
  5. I will enthusiastically support this decision.