Chapter 8. Make Sound Decisions

Once a team has spent dedicated time exploring different ideas and getting away from constraints, they need to switch into a mode where they begin to select promising ideas to refine and make more practical. In this chapter we’ll look at how teams can constructively critique ideas and manage the natural tension that arises when we start thinking less “blue sky” about all the options and get more judgmental (see Figure 8-1).

Exploring ideas and deciding which to pursue should happen each cycle, or even multiple times in a cycle
Figure 8-1. Exploring ideas and deciding which to pursue should happen each cycle, or even multiple times in a cycle

Democratize Discussion, Not Decisions

Chad Jennings, CXO of Babylon Health, is often brought in to make critical decisions for the company. He says, “Product management is a loud discipline with lots of discussion. I’m on everyone’s email list, and I’m brought in a lot to ‘make a decision.’ But I’m making decisions about people who I don’t manage directly and situations that I don’t know intimately.” He knows he should make key decisions because he’s accountable, but he can’t do it alone. He realizes it’s important to open up discussions about ideas, how they work, and what doesn’t work so that everyone understands the choices being made, and that they’ve been made with a great deal of thought and input.

Simply having a team vote on key decisions can be dangerous, leaving it open to pressures of “groupthink” or ...

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