Meetings are a much-discussed topic on prototyping.work. Making decisions is an inseparable topic. Because that is what you do in meetings right? Well, you could. But making decisions in groups can be endless and produce half-baked outcomes and low commitment. And individual, hierarchic decision making by a “boss” also is often dissatisfying.
There is a decisionmaking method that makes decisions more integrative and that speeds up the process. And it’s called Integrative Decision Making (IDM). Originally IDM comes from Sociocracy and was refined in the Holacracy framework.
What steps to take for the practice
It’s highly recommended to experience this method with an experienced facilitator, who can teach you to facilitate it yourself. The power is in the process. It can seem like a long process, but when it’s well facilitated it will definitely speed you up and makes it inclusive.
The proposer states his proposal and the issue this proposal is attempting to resolve.
Anybody can seek information or more understanding. It is not yet time for reactions. Make sure it’s pure to clarify, not to include any subjectivity or a reaction, that is part of the next round.
Each person reacts to the proposal. Discussions are not allowed
Amend & Clarify
The proposer can clarify his proposal further, or amend it, based on these reactions. If it’s not possible to amend right away, the proposer can stop the process and go back to the drawing board.
Objections are captured without discussion; the proposal is adopted if none surface. Two questions are asked here: ”Do you see any reasons why adopting this proposal would cause harm or move us backward?” And/or “Is it good enough for now, and safe enough to try?”
If an objection is raised, the facilitator tests the objection for validity. If it is found to be valid, he leads a discussion to craft an amendment that would avoid the objection. If several objections are raised, they get addressed one at a time, until all are removed.
It does have a learning curve, but worth trying. Because you'll get
Meetings that end with results/decisions
Inclusive decisions, every participants opinions are heared
Faster decisions, because you won't get stuck in discussions
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