Tuesday, May 06, 2008

On another note: Frantically studying consensus

This morning I got a semi-frantic call from a past client saying that they are VERY STUCK on a VERY IMPORTANT DECISION and can I please come facilitate an emergency meeting tomorrow to help them get unstuck?

It really is a very important decision. And in fact I advised them weeks ago that they should, before getting any further down their path, agree on exactly how they would make this decision. But alas, time was of the essence and they were flush with the glow of possibilities.

So although I have relatively little experience working with true consensus models of decision-making - consensus being a term that is misused most of the time to mean "unanimity" when in fact it's a much more complicated thing - I am hard at work reviewing the tools of the trade so as to try to help these lovely people.

A flurry of emails and phone calls have ensued, with phrases like "savior" and "to the rescue" bandied about. These phrases make me very alarmed because I can be neither savior nor rescuer. That is decidedly not on our list of consulting services, and if it were, we would command a much higher billable rate. But nonetheless, I will show up tomorrow with a reasonable grasp of the principles of consensus.

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