There is a problem in most organisations that teams want to generally be in agreement when making decisions. I think this is a mistake. I was pleasantly surprised when recently reading a Jeff Bezos investor letter where he specifically alluded to this issue. He spoke of “disagree and commit” when it came to decision making at Amazon. This is a wonderful approach. (Please stop now and do go read Jeff's letter. It is that good!)
Usually, what happens in companies is that folks get into a death match with one another knowing that they at the end of the day have to somehow come to a mutual decision. What this unfortunately leads to at best is a ton of time being wasted.
Further it often leads to a certain type of behaviour where the person who can argue the loudest or longest wins. This doesn’t necessarily mean that their decision is right but they simply waged warfare best. Thereafter decision making often turns into a sloppy mess. Deals start being made amongst individuals before meetings even take place and other types of intrigue creep in. This all does nothing to further the goals of the business and can even very quickly lead to its downfall.
Ultimately it all comes down to politics. If you are expected to “fight it out”, those individuals who couldn’t be bothered with politics will initially become quiet and at worst, leave your company. Not everyone on the team is going to be an extrovert or aggressive in their style of decision making as part of a group. Oftentimes those with the most insight may also not be high enough in the hierarchy and prefer to keep their mouth shut verses being stomped on.
On the other hand, if the culture strives to disagree yet commit, you get things done. Not everyone has to always agree. Sure there is a risk of wrong decisions being made but making decisions is in my opinion better than not making decisions. It also allows people to engage far more in discussions knowing that if others are not aligned, they can still get something done. Oftentimes, the best decisions often look like the riskiest or most farfetched. But I rather have all these options on the table and agree with them if they are good. If they aren’t so in my opinion but the arguments are sound, I’m happy to disagree and commit to trying them out anyway. Therefore, I am with Jeff on this one.