Dog Day Decisions
My dog, Gizmo, frustrates me.
 
We aren’t supposed to feed him people food, but we all do. He likes carrots, popcorn, and, of course, red meat.
 
When he believes a people treat is coming, he dances, shakes, wiggles—basically a full-blown anticipatory conniption. After all the excitement, he gets his treat and whomp, it’s gone. In one swallow. Done. Where’s the next one?
 
I’ve seen groups make decisions like this. Heck, I’ve made decisions like this.

Take a little information, mix it with gut feel, shut down the dissenters, and whomp—decision made. The stickiness of such decisions is often as fleeting as Gizmo’s enjoyment. People aren’t committed. We forgot a crucial stakeholder. We had incomplete data. Important elements are changed in the hallway conversation after the meeting. 
 
In his book Community: The Structure of Belonging, acclaimed consultant Peter Block identifies six critical conversations that when used together are transformative and build lasting community. The six conversations are: Invitation, Possibility, Ownership, Dissent, Commitment, and Gifts.  
 
I’ve facilitated meetings using these six conversations. The energy and participation were palpable. Participants were more energized, more committed, and more united. They left saying, “Why don’t we do this more often?,” “I’ve known Shelia for 10 years and didn’t know she felt that way,” and “We finally got somewhere.” 
 
In our fast-paced, what’s-the-next-thing world it can pay to slow down.

Savor the process: seek the right input, allow for dissent, make the decision, identify available gifts, secure true commitment, and build the team.  
 
Gizmo’s an old dog and probably won’t learn new tricks. Do we have to share the same fate?
DEV / DECISIONS / DIALOGUE / Jun 3, 2011, 6:39pm / Comments (2)
Musings
Ideas worth sharing.


TAGS
ALIGNMENT
CHANGE
CULTURE
DECISIONS
DEV
DIALOGUE
EFFICIENCY
FEEDBACK
HEALING
INQUIRY
LEADERSHIP
MUST-READ
RUTH
TOOLS

ARCHIVE
2012 (2)
2011 (20)


THINC on Facebook THINC on Twitter Subscribe to Our Feed

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter,
or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Subscribe to Our Blog! Click Here