June 2011 from Project Times – “There is a problem with building consensus. First of which is it may never happen. I often hear people referring to consensus as trying to get everyone to agree on a decision. A common definition of consensus is “An opinion or position reached by a group as a whole”. Here are negative scenarios that can result with consensus building as defined:
- A decision never gets made or is delayed – By trying to get everyone to agree, stubbornness can kick in and individuals can stall or stop decisions from being made.
- A weaker solution can be determined – By trying to include something for everyone the best solution can be watered down.
180 View – We agree and would add another reason. Not all stakeholders are qualified to make a decision. They may not see the forest for the trees – in other words they are focused mostly on their own departments rather than the business as whole. They may also not have the intelligence or the experience to make the best decision. But you should seek input from stakeholders as they often have insights that are not known. As well, it leads to buy in as they have been able to influence the decision and their opinion is respected.