Mechanics of Team Decision-Making for Consultants

The Workshop

This insightful, skill-building workshop is designed specifically for facilitators, organization development practitioners, and other collaboration specialists. The workshop will teach you how to work with your client’s decision-making mechanics, to help them improve the intelligence and the wisdom of their decisions while at the same time improving the efficiency and timeliness of their decision-making process.

In the morning, you will learn the Team Thinking Model, a powerful and widely-respected model of group dynamics. The Team Thinking Model will give you significant insight into the underlying structure of group decision-making. With this preparation, you will then learn several practical tools and a step-by-step system for building consensus and reaching closure,

In the afternoon, you will learn how to help your clients design customized procedures that fits the realities of their organizations. First the focus will be put on the role of team leader. You will learn techniques for teaching this person the core principles and procedures of team decision-making. You will also learn how to help him/her design a set of procedures that suits his/her style and fits the team. Then you will learn how to facilitate the entire group as they modify the team leader’s proposal and make it their own. Attention will also be given to the technique of installing decision procedures with non-hierarchical, leaderless groups.

This workshop has been enormously popular with professional audiences. Versions of this workshop have been selected for presentation at four annual conferences of the International Association of Facilitators, two national conferences of the Organization Development Network and three annual Best In The West conferences of the Bay Area O.D. Network. A “managers & team leaders” version of the workshop has been presented in-house to numerous organizations since 1986.

The Workshop Leader

Sam Kaner has been an organization development consultant since 1978. He has a national reputation as an expert in consensus decision-making and he is the senior author of the acclaimed Facilitator’s Guide To Participatory Decision-Making. His corporate clients have included VISA International, Hewlett-Packard, Symantec, Charles Schwab & Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and many others. His long list of public service clients includes March of Dimes, Special Olympics, and many foundations, schools, government agencies and community organizations. Since 1986 he has been a principal at Community At Work, a San Francisco-based consulting firm that specializes in participatory approaches to solving complex problems.

The Workshop Agenda

1. Opening Remarks and Agenda Overview

2. Dynamics of Group Decision-Making

• Phases of the decision-making process
• Difficulties in reaching closure
• How different decision rules affect participation

3. Mechanics of Reaching Agreement

• How to distinguish enthusiastic support from lukewarm support for a proposal
• Interpreting the implications of different levels of support
• Tools for reaching closure

4. Practice Activities

• Group decision-making simulations
• Polling techniques for determining a group’s level of support for a proposal

5. The Step-by-Step Procedure

• Formalization of learning from practice activities
• How to use authority effectively in a decision-making group
• Case examples from actual organizations

– Lunch –

6. Introduction to Consultant/Client Issues

7. Working with the Person-In-Charge

• Teaching a person-in-charge the mechanics of team decision-making
• How to help the person-in-charge design his/her own modifications
• Practice activity with feedback

8. Facilitating the Installation of Clear Procedures in a Group

• Helping a group understand the fundamental principles
• Helping a group modify and ratify procedures proposed by the person-in-charge
• Practice activity with feedback

9. Special Considerations when Working with Non-hierarchical Groups.

• Pros and cons of having planners develop proposals in advance
• Technique of installing procedures with non-hierarchical groups

10. Integration and Summary

Registration Information

Contact Duane Berger, Program Director

Phone: 415-282-9876