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Blog post
June 25, 2019

Consensus, the roadblock to decisions…

We’re all trying to achieve more, with less, all while trying to be better than anyone else. Sometimes you can’t do it alone, and there’s a good chance you need systems or smarter technology to do some of the heavy lifting for you.

It’s at this interval where many stumble – striving for consensus where, really, buy-in is the goal.

For any Marketing or Communications professional, the art of selling a dream or pitching an idea is second nature. However, that art is so often forgotten when trying to get things like new technology, new processes, new approaches, or even new ways of looking at data across the line.

We typically default to aiming for consensus, which by our very nature as people (and roles within organisations) is the wrong metric. Differing perspectives foster innovation, inspiration and fresh thinking – which is great for business, but not great for decision making. By aiming for consensus, we fail to create action. Instead, we create unnecessary stress, and push timelines to the point where we start to see decisions as rare shooting stars – beautiful, yet unattainable.

What we really need to strive for is buy-in. As a concept, buy-in is nothing new – but it’s something that we blur with consensus. It’s not about 100% agreement, it’s about getting enough people to believe in your argument.

Not to sound cliché, but it’s a little like story-telling. Not everyone will read to the end and it may not be their favourite story, but they can certainly see the path, recognize the markers, and believe the characters. The key here is to reach a majority buy-in to keep decisions moving forward.

When you fail to make decisions, the price paid is to the bottom line. Focus on quality, focus on getting the systems you need to free up time for more important things, and focus on putting your best case forward.

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