Are some strategic decisions simply never going to get passed the analysis stage? Does it feel like some people just need 100% certainty of success before they’ll give on anything? Are we doomed to beat around the bush forever? Although not easy, our decision-making process does not have to be like this.
Around a board room table, it can be extremely difficult to get consensus on a decision. This can be due to a number of reasons. Perhaps participants have been historically and publicly shamed for the way their previous decisions have turned out? Maybe it is simply a daunting task that the group is facing and with that a dose of intimidation? It could be that as doctors and scientists, some are looking for a degree of certainty that may never come? Whatever the reason, our job is to help get passed these obstacles and help the group perform its decision-making role as it should.
In search of solutions, let’s look at risk mitigation. What are the concerns they have? Can we lay out a path that allows us to move forward but puts in place key milestones that must be met to maintain consensus. For example, to submit our RHC accreditation application by June 15th if we have a Medical Director in place and our policy and procedure manual completed.
Some decisions must be made before all the pieces are in place but by offering concessions that directly address the concerns of the group these decisions can still move forward. In fact, by doing this I’ve had to be much more disciplined in how I set up our discussions and follow through on our choices. These may not be as easy as electing yes or no but the progress gained on difficult issues is well worth the extra thought and work.