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Consensus is Bad

It Staffing Companies

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the benefits of Crowdthink. In the case of my recent time spent at Harvard, working together with other entrepreneurs and listening to their thoughts and ideas while expressing my own as well, was beneficial. By collaborating with others we found the best possible solutions to each case study we had to review.

Coming to a consensus when deciding typically implies that you have developed a decision that everyone respects, supports and agrees on. The truth is that consensus thinking can’t ever truly satisfy everyone, compromise must happen because not everyone is going to agree.

Take for instance something as simple as a group of people deciding on where to go for dinner. The decision-making process can be excruciating: one person wants burgers, another wants sushi, someone else wants pizza. Some want to go into the city, some want to stay more local. Or, even worse, someone “doesn’t care” and wants to go “wherever you want to go”, yet makes a face of disapproval with every suggestion thrown out (I know we’ve all experienced this before). Not everyone is going to be thrilled with the result, but you just decide and move on.

Getting consensus is time consuming and slows down the process.  In the example above getting consensus may prove to be impossible.  If the group waited for 100% agreement, they may never get dinner, which means that with no action, everyone now is hungry and annoyed.  Making no decision is worse than making the wrong decision.

As a business owner and entrepreneur, I’m faced with the challenge of consensus thinking while also making the best decision for the company every day. Hearing other’s thoughts, ideas and opinions is inspiring and certainly influences my decisions, but ultimately, I must do what is best for my company and my staff. The J2 team knows that, and once the decision is made, it must be supported; no matter what.

This weekend, make your decision and move on (but if you need a restaurant recommendation, I would be happy to help.) ?

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you find, you get what you need” -The Rolling Stones

Have a great weekend,