This Can Help Your Team Make Better Decisions

A consult-first approach to empowered decision-making.

There are basically four ways to take a decision:

  • By command — a decision is made by an individual without consultation
  • By consultation — a decision is made by an individual after consulting other group members
  • By consensus — a group decision is made once everyone agrees
  • By counting votes — a group decision is made by majority (like a democracy)

Group decisions may sound like a good idea, but what often emerges are compromises, with no passionate owner. ‘Decision by consensus’ is slow, and ‘Decision by counting votes’ quickly becomes political.

On the other hand, empowering individuals also sounds great . . . but not when they make decisions without considering the wider effects on the rest of the team. That rules out ‘Decision by command’ for all but the most trivial decisions. Which leaves only ‘Decision by consultation’.

Decision-makers should make it a priority to consult others before taking a decision, and they should manage expectations afterwards. While it’s not perfect, it’s the best of the bunch.

About me

Hi, I’m Dave Bailey and I coach tech CEOs from Series A to pre-IPO. Find out more about my coaching programs and podcast here.

This Can Help Your Team Make Better Decisions was originally published in The Founder Coach on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.