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Consensus through Conversation

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Consensus through Conversation

How to Achieve High-Commitment Decisions


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The best way to get support for decisions is to have a planning process that includes everyone who will be affected.

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Large corporations often hire retired generals. This is logical. Generals classically have numerous, well-developed and exquisitely honed executive gifts, strengths and abilities. Plus, they are accustomed to taking command, issuing orders and running big operations. However, as corporations adapt to a brave new world that insists on inclusiveness, the old diktat-style of corporate leadership is becoming musty and threadbare. Today's employees, in particular, those hard-to-replace knowledge workers, want – and expect – to feel empowered and to be part of the action. To that end, Larry Dressler has devised an effective group-planning process that enables organizations to reach true consensus decisions. getAbstract commends Dressler for delivering a superbly organized, compelling treatise on the timely topic of consensus decision-making. He expertly explains the consensus approach and teaches you how to implement consensus planning. To develop plans that everyone in your organization will be glad to support, start with his recommendations.


Getting Everyone on Board

Employee acceptance is critical to the success of most business initiatives. If that is your goal, executive fiat won't work. When you order workers to do something, they will do it – but usually begrudgingly instead of enthusiastically. Obviously, this is not how you want to present an important new initiative, plan or significant decision. If, on the other hand, you enable employees to play a viable part in planning the initiative or making the decision, they are far more likely to feel a sense of pride and ownership, because they helped shape the outcome. Because of their emotional investment, employees will be more inclined to accept the new initiative eagerly. Equally important, they are far more likely to exert maximum effort to make it succeed. Since the new initiative is their baby, employees want to be sure that it works.

Another good reason to involve others in decision making is that today's employees, particularly front-line workers, are most sensitive to new trends. Include their valuable perspectives, insights and opinions in the planning process. As every aspect of life and commerce becomes increasingly complex, you need to ...

About the Author

Larry Dressler is a consultant who helps business firms and other organizations mobilize their shared commitment to change. He specializes in planning and facilitating meetings that address important corporate issues.

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