Group decision-making and planning does not have to be painful, time-consuming, and unproductive. There is a simple process you can follow to make this experience enjoyable, efficient, and productive. This experience involves three primary steps.
Start with What
What? Hasn’t Simon Sinek been telling us for the past few years to “Start with the Why”? The why is important. However, the group needs to understand the focus of the decision-making or planning. Starting with “What” is establishing the vision. Everyone needs to have a clear picture of where the decision making and planning is headed.
What? – We are going to develop a faster way to deliver goods to our clients!
What? – We are going to create a new work schedule!
What? – We are going to reorganize our teams!
Explore the Why
The next step is to explore why we want to do what we have thought about doing; Explore the “Why” of the “What”. Establishing the “Why” does two things. First, it clarifies the purpose. Second, it either motivates the group forward or stops the “What”. If the answers to the “Why” question are compelling and logical, move to step three. If the answers to the “Why” are irrational and demotivating, go back and rethink the “What”.
Why? Why do we want to develop a faster way to deliver goods to our clients?
Why? Why are we going to create a new work schedule?
Why? Why are we going to reorganize our team?
Create the How
The final step in the process is to Create the How. What this really means is to generate all the questions that need to be answered. The mistake people make in group decision making is to start answering questions before all the questions are generated. Establishing all the questions helps the group determine the order of answering questions and the interconnection between questions. If people start answering a question before the questions are generated, say, “I’m glad you are thinking about solutions, and we will get to that. First, we need to identify all the questions, so we know which questions are most important to answer.”
Go make group decision making enjoyable and productive by Starting with What, Exploring the Why, and Creating the How.