Group Decision Tips
Flat for Planning, Stacked for DoingIn principle, different ways of deciding should be applied to different types of decisions. Deciding how things should be – planning – is well suited to a flat decision-making structure; that is, where several decision makers are equal and all fully participate. Some call this consensus decision-making. As a rule, the longer and wider the reach of the plan, the broader and flatter the planning structure should be. Deciding how to implement plans – doing – is better suited to hierarchical decision-making structure; that is, roles and responsibilities are stacked upon each other. There is a chain of command and accountability up and down the ladder. As a rule, the more expeditious and short-lived a decision is, the better it is to delegate it to an individual within a hierarchy. Practical Tip: For each decision, first decide the type of decision: Is it more of a planning decision or more of an implementation-type decision? Will it have long-term, broad impact or short-term, local impact? Apply a decision-making method appropriate to the nature of the decision. Every group member need not decide small, implementation details. Long-term planning and high-level policy should not be in the hands of just a powerful few.
Other Tip titles include “Consensus Doesn’t Mean Casual,” “Interests Rather Than Positions,” “How to Move Forward,” and “Speak Your Truth and Let Go”. The Group Decision Tips are organized into six categories: Attitude and Personal Growth, Communication, Conflict Prevention, Creativity, Efficiency, and Group Technique. Some Tips focus on specific details, others “zoom out” for a big picture. All the Tips are grounded in the belief that collaborative decisions, while perhaps requiring more work, are worth it. The Tips can be used to prepare for and guide conversations or meetings, to transform conflicts, or to provide inspiration for your group. Resource Link: www.groupdecisiontips.com