Many teams lack a clear process for making decisions. Others create decision-making processes that are plenty clear, but take forever. Most employ a confused mix, running some decisions through an agonizing gauntlet of analysis but leaving others up to the leader-of-the-day's whims.
These teams waste money and time. They also undermine the group's confidence and trust.
Who wants to work on a team where nothing gets done, because no one ever makes a decision without first checking and re-analyzing 97,000 times? Not me. Not you, I'm guessing.
None of us wants to work with a leader who makes arbitrary decisions based on secret criteria, either. While executive mandate sounds powerful, in reality it means that the leader couldn't get anyone else to back that decision with them, so they chose to bully it into being instead.
What works? And if your team doesn't have great decision making habits, how do you get started?
One of the most important reasons for holding a meeting is to make decisions.
Yet too often, the decision-making process degenerates into a battle between competing points of view. Participants become polarized, entrenched in their positions and paralyzed by their disagreements. Unable to resolve the conflict, the group often makes a decision that everyone says they can live with, but that no one really supports. Or worse, no decision gets made at all, and the group misses the opportunity to take positive collective action.
Introducing Tammy Spann The Lucid Meetings team is delighted to welcome our newest template designer, Tammy Adams Spann. We first met Tammy at a workshop she and David Spann conducted ondecision making in meetings(a topic near and dear to our hearts) where they introduced Eric Coryell's Decision Matrix. We love the clarity the Decision Matrix brings to decision-making for leadership teams. We're thrilled Tammy agreed to share her process for helping teams get clear on how key decisions will be made by filling out your own Decision Matrix.
Read on to learn how Tammy learned this technique and get her guide to using it in your organization. — Team Lucid
Have you ever given your opinion and had it implemented as a decision? Worse yet, have you made a decision only to have it overridden by someone higher up the food chain?
Whether I ate healthy food or not: a choice. Whether I obsessed over past slights or whether I forgave and moved on: a choice. I believed every action I took, and every action everyone takes, began with a decision to act.
I believed this choosing applied to organizations too. Do you run decent meetings, or do you ignore the ineptitude and hope it will go away on it’s own? That’s a choice.
Yep. That sounded right to me. I’m big on self-responsibility that way.
Lately, my conviction has been shaken. I no longer believe every action follows a choice.
Now I believe instead that every action is a reaction. This goes for actions taken by organizations and those taken by individuals.
But sometimes when you get running really fast, it’s easy to lose people along the way. When a group rushes through updates and decisions, anyone who comes to the meeting distracted, unfamiliar with the topic, or who maybe just needs a bit more time to process new information is going to miss something.
Leave No One Behind
When we go too fast for the whole group to participate, our desire to be efficient and end on time can sabotage the meeting’s purpose. Every meeting is a kind of journey, taking a group from what they knew and felt before the meeting, to a place with new answers, decisions and shared commitments to keep. If you get to the end of the journey without all your people onboard, you’ve literally wasted everyone’s time, and will have to go back and bring all those people forward again in yet another meeting.
As you work to run faster and more efficient meetings, use these 7 checkpoints to make sure everyone arrives at the same destination together.
Including step-by-step instructions, screenshots, short reviews, and our top recommendations
Last updated April 14, 2020 For this update, we added several new tools and removed a few that are no longer in business. You'll find helpful replies and information from the companies listed here embedded in the full list at the end of the post.
This list was originally published in 2015. Every tool listed below is active as of April 2020, but the descriptions below may be out of date.
Technology companies:contact us if you have updates you'd like to see here.
Technology customers: be sure to visit each tool's website to see the most current information.
The Strategic Planning Meeting Essentials Pack designed by Anna O'Byrne includes a series of online brainstorming and decision-making exercises. If you run these meetings face-to-face, you'll use sticky notes, markers and a whiteboard for those steps in the process.
But, how do you do the sticky-note thing online? You can find dozens of online sticky note and brainstorming applications, but not all of them work well as part of an online meeting.
We decided to test out all the online sticky-note, brainstorming, and decision-making tools we could find to figure out just which ones work best for quick collaborative sessions during a meeting.