Bridging The Gap: Building Consensus: A Key Principle to unlocking creative ideas
I have come to realize that my self-worth is strong by itself, but when it is coupled with someone else’s, it empowers me to do some much more. On top of this virtue, this individual satisfaction energizes me for the next opportunity. And believe it or not, it did the same thing for the person I teamed with. He felt a similar excitement that also readied him for his next opportunity. This education changed my approach to people. Instead of looking for what was wrong with them, I began to look for their value and how we can build together. It worked! The teams I led accomplished many things, as we taught each other and applied the education to our processes to win.
As I reflect on how we were able to accomplish many things, I recognized that building consensus was the key to my success. It taught me how to harness the inputs of my team’s creative value, so that we could build a viable organization that consistently delivered the right results on time. It also taught me how to be strategic in how I used their inputs based on the objective and the direction needed to get there. Furthermore, they knew their expertise would help me to make an informed decision that would affect them and the customer. The inputs/ideas that I could not use would be kept in a documented Parking Lot for future decisions. Together, we grew as a viable team who were empowered to win and not just be participants who finish the race.
Consider the following Building Consensus Cycle with explanation:
The leader is specific when sharing the organization’s direction, the objectives, and his inputs to accomplish them. Must not form a conclusion- keep it open.
The team is afforded opportunity to hear the leader’s view and respond with their inputs about the organization’s direction, the objectives and how to achieve them.
The leader takes the team inputs and add them to his. He creates a new draft of the plan.
The leader shares the drafted plan with the team. Looking for their understanding
The leader asks, do you Accept — Reject, but will do it– or Reject the plan?
The team Accepts the plan- Consensus Built
The team Rejects the plan, but they will do it- Consensus Built with documented notes
The team Rejects the plan with specific explanation- No Consensus: will start over with Conversation #1 if the vote is unanimous. If it is not unanimous, the leader will move forward with the plan, and he will save the specific notes of those who rejected it and the reasons why. They may be used for future reference. Note: not to be used to penalize them. They have a healthy right to reject.
Value is precious and takes time to develop. The consensus cycle supports this principle. Rushing through the process could potentially hurt your chances of being creative, achieving your objectives, and growing your team. So, give yourself time to use it to your advantage and it will advance you forward.