The Ingredients for a Successful Decision-Making

One of the most important tools for quick team development is to have clarity, structure, and commitment on how a decision is made.

So, the most important team decision is to decide on how to decide. Oh my!

An approach you could try is the decision matrix for decision-making.

You could follow these steps:
👉 Ask everyone to think on their own about the best way the team should make decisions.
👉 Everyone shares their opinion with the rest of the team. Every idea is heard! No idea is rejected. If people have clarification questions – it’s OK, you can discuss. If someone disagrees with the idea – it’s OK, but it’s not up for discussion at this point.
👉 After hearing all ideas – options are listed. Usually, there are ideas that could be combined and people are OK with that.

Now – we have all the possible options the team has come up with.

The team members will now evaluate every option and decide on their own (usually in parallel and anonymously).

Every person should choose for every option whether:
👉 Agree & Commit (Green): you agree with this decision-making approach and you will commit to following decisions if they are made like that.
👉 Disagree & Commit (Blue): you disagree with this approach, but you are OK to commit to decisions if they are made like that.
👉 Disagree & Not Commit (Red): you strongly disagree with this approach and you are not OK with following decisions made with this approach.

Once everyone marks their choice on every option – usually there are 1 or 2 standouts. Pick the one with the most people in the Green + Blue columns with priority on the Green column.

Usually, at least 1 option has no one in the Red column. If that happens – focus on understanding the other person’s perspective. Iterate on redefining the option so that there is no one in the Red column. With 2-3 iterations you will reach an agreement to commit to a common decision-making approach.

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