How Consensus Can Kill Your Company

line of Lego StormtroopersMost people would say that consensus is a wonderful thing. When everyone agrees, there will be no battles and the project will go on without a hitch, right? Unfortunately, no.

In his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni says, “Consensus is horrible. I mean, if everyone really agrees on something and consensus comes about quickly and naturally, well that’s terrific. But that isn’t how it usually works, and so consensus becomes an attempt to please everyone.”

Your Company Needs A Decision-Maker

As Lencioni alludes, if you push for consensus you won’t get to the best outcomes, you’ll slow down your decision making, you won’t be clear about your team’s responsibilities, and you’ll be more likely to fail.

I see this happening most often in companies with weak leadership, when leaders don’t own the fact that they are the final say. It can be tough being the one who has the final word, because it usually means you must publicly disagree with someone. That could lead to an argument, and if the decision is a bad one, the buck stops with you. But, alas, that’s the role of a leader, regardless of the specific leadership role—Operations Director, Sales Manager, Floor Supervisor, or Department Manager.

But at the helm of the company, the person on the leadership team with the final word is your Integrator. In an EOS® company, the Integrator is the person who harmoniously integrates all the moving pieces at the leadership team.

Time to Make a Decision!

Good Integrators are often called upon to make decisions. During a meeting, you may be working through an issue and everyone has had their say. People are starting to repeat themselves and are politicking for what they want. Fearless Integrator, it’s time to make a decision.

You’re adding a member to the leadership team and everyone can’t agree on the person to pick. Fearless Integrator, time to make a decision.

The Visionary owner thinks you should take on the eighth Rock, or priority, this month. Fearless Integrator, it’s time to make a decision.

I find my healthiest teams actually call this out often. They point to the fact that a decision needs to be made, even if they don’t agree with it.

Forbes Magazine’s Mike Myatt sums it up well: “The thought all employees should have an equal say is just more politically correct thinking run amok. While I’m a true believer in candor in the workplace, and have always encouraged feedback and input at every level of an organization, this doesn’t mean everyone should have an equal say – they shouldn’t.” In healthy EOS companies, your Fearless Integrator makes the decision.

Next Steps

2017-06-26T17:50:52-04:00June 26th, 2017|Blog Articles, Conflict Management, Difficult Decisions, Leadership|Comments Off on How Consensus Can Kill Your Company

About the Author:

Jim Coyle has over 15 years of helping companies obtain the level of success they were built to achieve. Jim has owned and operated many of his own small to midsized business operations (SMB) and realized that small businesses need their own set of solutions. Read more about Jim here.