“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” (Theodore Roosevelt)
In order to facilitate decision-making, we like to be guided through decision-making processes; from rock-paper-scissors up to complex tunings. We all know about the classics and their challenges; the 'top down' decision-making, where all too often a decision is made with little knowledge of the facts. Or the opposite model, 'consensus' decision-making, where there is room for everyone's input, but countless hours have often passed before you all agree.
Holocracy proposes a new way: consent decision-making.
A brief introduction to the consent decision-making process:
- A person/colleague raises a point of stress, and immediately makes a proposal for improvement.
- Everyone affected by the stress can obtain more insights and information about the proposal via clarifying questions. This will continue until the proposal is clear enough for everyone.
- Time for a round-table discussion, with the reactions to the proposed proposal.
- Based on the responses, the proposer can adjust or refine his/her proposal.
- As a last step, the final question in consent decision-making is: "Good enough for now, safe enough to try?"
Consent decision-making assumes that everyone can make a decision about anything if the consent decision-making process is followed. In this way, everyone who is affected by a decision or a resolution can influence it without having to consult about it for hours, because the decision-making process does all the work.
In addition, we are not looking for the best solution to our problem. We are looking for a workable proposal that is good enough for now and safe enough to try. In the culture of continuous improvement, this proposal can lead to a new stress point, and a new proposal in the future.