Are your business decisions made on consensus or are they driven by a broader vision? Does everyone in your organization have “a say” to the point where things move at the snail pace. Is everything everyone’s job so it effectively ends up being no one’s job.
Consistently I see such waste in the name of getting everyone’s input and vote and only thing that pops in my head then is a statement – ‘Business is not a democracy’.
You don’t go to a doctor’s office / hospital and wait for every staff members opinion on what the doctor should prescribe – then why have everyone have an input on say a new brand name for your offering. Isn’t that a specialized job?
Buck stops here
Usually it is one person’s responsibility to accomplish a specific goal in an organization. Even if many are helping one person is accountable. Then, why not have everyone give their input but clearly leave the responsibility to one person to synthesize, prioritize, sort, filter, contextualize and use the input in the decision. No point taking votes from everyone on what the decision should be.
No right or wrong
Assuming that you have a smart person responsible for a decision, there are no real right or wrong decisions. There are only informed choices or uninformed guesses. For all the conjecture that goes on before the decision on all the factors, the bottom line is no one really knows better. At most you can improve your chances and avoid extreme risks. Rest all really depends on how many decisions you make how fast and how fast you learn and adapt and not the accuracy rate of your decisions.
Successful outcome after the decision is hardly based only on the decision that was made. It mostly depends on ‘how’ the decision is acted upon. Specifically it is dependent on “an owner” who passionately follows through after the decision for execution. A decision made by committee is a like an orphan whose rhetorical family is the whole world – and that does not really help much.
When there is a clear decision maker there is also a clear owner who is motivated to see the decision through even if it means adapting it or changing it. Committees and voting don’t create action ownership.
So what about buy-in and bringing everyone along. Sure, that is very critical. Anything I have said above is not meant to dilute buy-in even a bit. Buy-in comes when the decision making process and decision maker “understands” everyones point of view and clearly articulates that. Here it is important to separate that understanding one person’s point of view does not mean you make a decision that they want. It simply means you factor in their concerns appropriately.
If you make people feel important by listening to them on a regular basis and not just take vote on issues, you will have an environment of trust and mutual respect and space where everyone can make informed decisions faster.
So in summary, consistently listen, decide, communicate but don’t ask for vote all the time on all the issues.