From Patty McManus at Interaction Associates: Failure to achieve consensus can take your company down, as leaders at a number of organizations in recent history can attest. What if you were running one of those companies, and you realized in hindsight that the failure didn’t need to happen? Well, it doesn’t – most of the time.
Especially on difficult or contentious issues, consensus can take time, energy, negotiations, and more time. At some point, the conversation can become stagnant, and people just lose their will to engage with one another. Relationships can get strained, and, ultimately, organizations can falter. So before a leader has to call it and make a unilateral choice, a few tasks can increase the likelihood of a solid outcome that leaves the organization strong and able to take concerted action.