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First and foremost, there's a difference between Consensus and Consent.

  • Consensus is only achieved when everyone involved agrees. In our experience this is often hard to achieve.
  • Consent is already achieved when no one has serious arguments against the decision anymore. Our experience shows that this can usually be achieved in a few serious discussions.

Consent-based decision-making works by asking yourself the question:

Can I live with that decision going forward?

If each participants' answer is yes, then it's decided and the decision can be implemented.

If the answer is no, then the discussion should continue as long as there are serious arguments from any involved party. Put in different terms: As long as any involved party believes that the discussion is still worth it, there's no decision. When that's no longer the case, all parties obviously are able to live with the outcome, even if that wasn't their preferred outcome.

Should it be the case, that one or multiple parties just can not live with the decision (i.e. they have serious arguments that are not resolved), the discussion may be escalated to the next higher position within the company.

Last update: September 1, 2022