Decision-making by Consent
1. The Proposer has spotted a challenge or opportunity for the team, and has an idea for a project to resolve the problem, or make the most of the new opportunity. The Proposer pulls together a meeting that involves those who may be affected by the problem, or who may be required to work on the idea, and lets senior leadership know about it, too, so that they can recommend who else might need to be in on the meeting. Someone else is nominated Facilitator, to run the meeting protocol.
2. The Proposer convenes the meeting and presents both problem or opportunity, and idea, to the decision-making group.
3. Clarifying questions: the group can ask clarifying questions of the Proposer.
4. Each person reacts or reflects on the idea, but there is no discussion. Everyone takes turns, and the Proposer is not required to respond to what is said.
5. The Facilitator of the meeting asks if anyone deems the proposal unsafe for the organisation: will it set back the organisation as a whole? If there are good Objections, then the Proposer and group talk through how to adapt the idea to resolve the Objection, but the idea itself needn’t be killed off.
6. Accept the idea, and the Proposer can get to work.
Make sure everyone in your organisation understands how decisions are made, especially senior leaders. You don’t want a decision to be made quickly, and then undermined by the hierarchy later.