Tag Archives: consensus

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forced change

Forced Change Doesn’t Work As Well As Consensus

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Change surrounds us. It may be hard to find an argument with that idea. However, does forced change ever really work? Can you force a change?

Certainly, there are external forces of change. We have technology forcing change, government regulations may force change, and even shifting economic conditions are likely to force change.

Managing Change

How do you manage forced change? Can it be managed? Does forced change happen internally?

There are always both external and internal forces putting pressure on organizations to change. The outcome of pressure applied is reactionary change.

We all realize that reaction may not be as good being proactive.

When we present ideas, concepts, and new directions we are hoping for change. Does the debate at the water cooler invoke change? What about the private discussion after the staff meeting? Does that bring about change?

Fighting for Change

It is easy to find disagreement. It is easy to pick a fight.

A culture of, “We fight about it.” may bring about some change, but it may not be the change you had in mind.

While external forces cause change for organizations, internal change or buy-in may require a completely different strategy.

Decision by consensus is different from persuasion, it is different from majority vote. Forced ideas seldom lead to consensus. Debates, arguments, or fights seldom create buy-in.

Forced Change

Some people will always go with the flow. They’ll follow the crowd. Fence sitters can go either way but often watch for the path of the majority. People with strong views can transition to extreme views as their influence grows.

Picking a fight and creating a divide is likely not what you have in mind. Forced change is often only the residue from the attempt, the bitterness that teams harbor and relive over and over in their minds.

If you want positive change and an intact team you’re going to have to use skillful navigation to create the buy-in. Forced change doesn’t work.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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consensus decisions

Consensus Decisions and the Power of the Group

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Working alone, is the sometimes dream of the team member. Frustrated with roadblocks, different opinions, and even unhealthy conflict may make people believe that stand-alone is better. However, when you want a good decision, consensus decisions may be the best option available.

Decisions and Problems

I really enjoy working with groups on learning how to think more critically, how to solve problems, and most of all, make better decisions. Many people enter the seminar thinking that there may not be much to learn and that it will be another hold hands and sing Kumbaya session. It is not.

Our environment often conditions us. Society is an environment that everyone reading this must navigate. Our values and beliefs will shape the ebb and flow of how we process information. This is especially evident when we consider generational differences.

Many argue that our technology driven society is leading to less interaction, more solitude, and social distress. There may or may not be something to that but others may argue it is bringing us closer, just in a different way.

You may also like: Driving Decisions Through Culture In Your Organization

When it comes to making decisions, research says that more people are better than one. Consensus decisions by far exceed the probability of a good decision when compared with those made stand alone.

Through the results of hundreds of seminars that I’ve personally delivered on the subject, I know that consensus decisions work, and work well.

Consensus Decisions

It may be important to understand exactly what a consensus decision is. First, it is not a majority vote. Properly executed consensus decisions welcome and consider the thoughts of everyone in the group. It is not about minority power persuading others. It is about everyone agreeing with a chosen path.

As you may guess, true decision by consensus is often hard to attain. It may require extra time, patience, and a willingness to consider ideas different from your own. However, the quality of the decision makes it very worthwhile.

Technically, the best method to process a decision by consensus is through a round-robin approach. This approach suggests that each group member has an opportunity to express his or her thoughts, experiences, and probable outcomes of a choice.

As the group processes each member listens to understand and consider each explanation and probable outcomes of the choice. In the end, in true decision by consensus, all group members agree with the decision or choice.

In a society that seems to be changing it forms of connection, one thing may still be true. When it comes to brainpower, the power of many is still better than the power of one.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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