December 25, 2009 Tony Morgan

#9 in 09: 5 Reasons Why Consensus Sucks

I’m growing more and more convinced that the worst thing an organization can do is try to reach a consenus about something. Think government. Think church committee meetings. Think declining big business.

On the surface, reaching a consensus seems like a positive thing because it means people have agreed to move in the same direction. That’s a good thing isn’t it?

Actually, I’m not convinced that’s the case. For example, here are:

5 Reasons Why Consensus Sucks

  1. It embraces the status quo. Change, whether positive or not, is not human nature. We would prefer for things to remain the way they are today. So, when people get together to discuss the possibility of doing something a little different in the future, it’s normal for the majority to avoid making changes.
  2. It gives the malcontents an equal voice in your decision. Reaching consensus gives everyone a voice at the table. When that happens, even the negative, bitter folks that don’t really embrace the vision have the opportunity to pull the rest of the group away from what could really be the most desirable outcome.

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Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and
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