Choosing the best solution calls for thoughtful discussion and judgment. Avoid these two potential traps:
- Taking the easy route. After very little discussion, one solution may seem ideal. So you jump at it without considering potential obstacles or other equally worthy alternatives.
Avoid that trap: Review every alternative before deciding. Take special care when one solution appears to be the overwhelming favorite. Search for its flaws as well as its selling points. Appoint a devil’s advocate to help bring up the cons of a problem.
- Relying on votes. Voting often seems to be the most democratic way to resolve any issue. But on teams, voting can lead to inferior results: Team members on the “losing” side are less likely to commit to implement the chosen solution.
Avoid that trap: Narrow the list of solutions by voting. Then break team members into small groups to discuss the finalists. Members are more likely to reveal their hidden objections. They’re also more likely to listen to one another in small groups. That can spark healthy debate that leads to new, better decisions the whole group supports.
— Adapted from How to Useto Foster Innovation Throughout Your Organization, Eric Skopec and Dayle M. Smith, www.amazon.com.