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The Threat of Consensus
Margaret Thatcher, Why the Most Intolerant Wins, and Strategy Audits
Consensus is one of the biggest threats to good strategy.
How can this be? Don’t we need consensus on our strategy if we want our colleagues to help us?
Unfortunately, consensus and agreement aren’t the same thing. Consensus is political, not strategic. It’s mainly concerned with avoiding conflict, not with making and acting on good decisions.
Margaret Thatcher on Consensus
To me consensus seems to be . . . something in which no-one believes, but to which no-one objects, the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved . . . . What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner “I stand for consensus”?
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“The Successful Strategist” on Consensus
Organizations typically approach strategy development as a consensus-building activity rather than a decision-clarifying discussion.
In the first of these two podcast episodes, I focus on the necessity of disgreement, not just to make a good decision, but to make any decision at all.
In the second episode, I briefly describe four harmful forms of consensus, not all of which are obvious.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Consensus
There are many situations in which something that appears widely accepted is in fact believed or demanded only by a very committed few.
In this article, which is also a chapter in his book Skin in the Game, Taleb explores the social effect of an “instransigent minority.”
Why Organizations Need a Strategy Audit
A large majority of strategic plans are produced by consensus, ensuring that they’re neither “strategic” nor even really “plans.”
My 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝘆 𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝘁 is for those who want 𝗮 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗽𝘁, 𝗮𝗳𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲, 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗲𝘃𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗰 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗻𝘀.
A 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝘆 𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝘁 will allow your organization – for-profit or non-profit – to candidly discuss and rapidly improve your strategic plan, vastly reducing your risk of wasted resources, internal conflict, damage to relationships with investors or donors, and unsustainable service to customers or beneficiaries.
Email me at email@example.com, or click on the image, for more information.