Summary of Consensus through Conversation

How to Achieve High-Commitment Decisions

Berrett-Koehler, more...

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


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


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.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why authoritarian-style management is increasingly passé;
  • What consensus means in group decision making;
  • How consensus planning fosters initiatives everyone can support;
  • When to use consensus and when to avoid it; and
  • How to plan, organize, facilitate and implement consensus planning sessions.


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...
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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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