Mechanics of Team Decision-Making for Leaders

The Workshop

This insightful yet thoroughly practical workshop is designed for managers, directors, project managers and other team leaders. The workshop will teach you how to improve the intelligence and the wisdom of your group’s decisions while also improving the efficiency and timeliness of your decision-making process. For occasions when you need everyone on your team to do their best thinking, you will learn tools for increasing participation, promoting mutual understanding, and obtaining responsible agreements. And you will also learn how to bring a discussion to closure quickly when a lengthy conversation would just be wasting time.

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, with coaching and feedback, you will develop a customized set of procedures that fit the realities of your own organization. Finally, you will learn -- with practice and feedback -- how to bring your teammates up to speed, so you can install the system back home, and start using it straight away.

This workshop has been taught to managers and team leaders across the country. In 1998, it was selected for presentation at Hewlett-Packard’s “Experts in Management” series. Customized versions of the workshop have been presented in-house to numerous organizations, and variations have been presented to professional audiences at four annual conferences of the International Association of Facilitators, and two national conferences of the Organization Development Network.

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 the 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. Team Decision-Making: Components of the System

• Key questions every team must answer, to be effective at team decision-making
• Presentation and discussion of detailed procedures and variations

7. Tailoring the Procedures to Fit Your Own Situation

• Participants customize key procedures
• Comparison of designs
• Personalized feedback in small groups
• Fine-tuning the system

8. Installing the System in Your Own Group

• Standard technique
• Practice activity with feedback
• Special considerations
• Practice activity with feedback

9. Integration and Summary

Registration Information

Contact Duane Berger, Program Director
Phone: 415-282-9876