Who is Accountable for the Decision?

Alicia smiled. “Who, on this team should make the critical decisions about the Phoenix Project? Critical decisions based on the excellent engineering recommendations from Russ’ department, and based on the realities of production confronted by Corey and his team?”

The room was quiet.

“I thought I was using concensus to get buy-in,” she said. “But, you were already bought in. You come to this meeting with your fresh ideas and vigorously debate those ideas. There is a ton of commitment around this table. What you need is a decision.

Paula raised her hand. “You know, this meeting has always been called the Project team meeting. Maybe it should be called the Division Manager’s Meeting?”

Alicia paused to collect her breath. “You are right.  Each of you is accountable to attend this meeting and give your best advice, but I am accountable to my manager for the decision.  Tomorrow morning, we will convene the Division Manager’s Meeting. We have a very important decision to make about the Phoenix Project. The meeting will last for 60 minutes, during which time I will listen to presentations, arguments and discussion about this decision. At the end of the meeting, I will make a decision as to the direction. Based on my decision, it will be up to each of you to carry on, giving it your best.

“As conditions change, we will meet each week to discuss new critical issues. I expect each of you to handle the details. We will only talk about difficult decisions.

“Thank you all for your attention and participation in this meeting. Let’s get back to work.”

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