July 14th, 2009 by admin
Consensus seems to be one of those things we’re always looking out for, seeking out. “Let’s reach consensus so we can move forward.” It’s a staple we need in heavy doses. Like a chef and herbs. A mechanic and wrenches. Or even a politician and a microphone. Consensus is a catalyst for action, a requirement for moving the ball forward.
Or is it?
Consensus can often get in the way of progress rather than spurring action. It might be that an idea can be produced in the time it takes to sell it through. Take a great idea and modify it enough times in order to get 3 or 4 panels or boards or whatevers to reach consensus and 2 things can happen.
+ weeks or months (and likely a window of opportunity) pass us by
+ our idea morphs into something else with less resonance than the original concept
A third outcome, I admit, is that our idea is strengthened by the input of a dozen or so decision-makers. This outcome rests firmly in minority status, so I shant dwell upon it here.
I’ll remind you, however, that nothing is holding us back from pursuing our ideas in pure forms. Not a board of directors or a timeline or most of all a budget. If an idea has merit and deserves to be heard, there’s a way to make it happen. A lot of folks are simply waiting to hear good ideas in order to help them live in the real world. And still others who think ideas stagger out of conference rooms 2 hours later. Please avoid the latter. The point is to not take “No” or “Maybe” for an answer when only “Let’s go!” is deserved. No matter what. Maybe this much we can all agree upon.