This article really breaks down the basics to understanding the need for diversity in debate and unity in deciding. The three “C’s” of effective decision making include conflict, consideration, and closure. The idea is that a good decision maker invites counsel but knows when to pull the trigger. There are great benefits to a considering variety of solutions. When a team feels heard and, most importantly considered, they are more likely to be on board with the end-result regardless if it was their idea. Another trait of a great leader is explanation. When there are opposing and diverse options for resolution, a good leader can explain how they came to make the final call. This more democratic way of inviting support vs. dictating endorsement signals to the team that they matter.
Having spent most of my career working for old power organizations with extremely hierarchical management teams, this hits home. I can’t count the number of management meetings where a former CEO used to say, “thank you for your input” which was code for the decision is mine. The team became extremely frustrated with sharing perspectives or ideas that were regularly dismissed or ignored. It wasn’t until a new CEO came on board that we actually felt heard. And much like the article stated, even when he made decisions that we didn’t initiate he had our support. We believed that each perspective was heard, so when it came time to initiate, we believed that the best idea was the one we would adopt.
LINK TO FULL TEXT: https://hbr.org/2001/09/what-you-dont-know-about-making-decisions
Garvin, D. A., & Roberto, M.A. (2001, September). What You Don’t Know About Making Decisions. Harvard Business Review,79(8), 108-16, 161.