Five Ways to Make Decisions

On every change team, there are five basic ways to make decisions. Establish expectations in advance to ensure smooth and rapid operation:

  1. The change leader decides – no discussion, no inquiry. One person makes the choice and we move on.
  2. Team discussion informs the change leader’s decision – people bring their perspectives and intents to the table as input to the leader.  All voices are hear, then the leader decides.
  3. Majority rules – following debate there is a vote and choice is made by following the majority. This means there is opportunity for all points of view to be aired, and that which captures the support of the greatest number is selected.
  4. Consensus – after a formal discussion, members of the team identify a path forward that everyone can either support or live with.
  5. Unanimous consent – requires 100% support of everyone involved. No dissension is tolerated.

Not every decision need involve every person. Know which is best when, and follow that protocol.


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