Consensus-Style Decision Making

Abstract

The consensus-style decision-making process is the foundation stone of Whole Foods Market. Ben Bernanke believes in the power of a consensus-style decision-making framework. It is a mechanism that a leader can use to gather pertinent information before making a decision. In a complicated scenario, it is important to know more about the problem at hand before crafting a strategy to deal with its impact to the organization, community, and stakeholders involved. Nonetheless, the consensus-style decision-making process seems inappropriate in a situation where decisive leadership is needed. This problem is remedied by the resolve to make a decision even in the absence of a consensus within the group.

The consensus-style decision-making

The United States Federal Reserve Board is one of the most important government agencies in America. The Federal Reserve Board has the power to influence the economic growth of the United States. In one of the darkest moments of the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve Board was fortunate enough to have Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Board. Bernanke’s effective leadership helped revived the U.S. economy in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Bernanke is a firm believer of the consensus-style decision-making framework.

Management experts will agree with Bernanke’s position regarding the importance of the consensus-style decision-making framework. The significance of the consensus-style framework is evident in solving complicated problems. In a complicated scenario, it is important to know more about the problem at hand before crafting a strategy to deal with its impact to the organization, community, and stakeholders involved.

Whole Foods Market is a good example of an organization that thrives because of the effective utilization of the consensus-style decision-making framework. The company uses this type of decision-making process in almost all of its business decisions. This includes the decision whether to hire a new member that is on a probationary status. The team leader does not only gather information through the inputs of the team members. The job of the leader is to leverage the power of the group to make decisions on important matters (Schermerhorn, 2014). In most cases, the decision-making process is democratic in nature. A majority vote usually determines the answer to a particular inquiry, and it is the main tool used to resolve an issue.

In order to gather relevant and insightful information, the leader must attract talented people to work with him. The decision-making process is one of the most difficult aspects of a leader’s job. An equally challenging task is the collection of information that will result in an informed decision (Schermerhorn, 2014). In order to increase the quality of the decisions made, a good leader requires the assistance of experienced, skilled and wise people. When he was the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, Bernanke empowered the members of the board to participate by highlighting their individual contributions.

The consensus-style decision-making process empowers team members to speak out their minds. Although this is an important ingredient in building teams, it may become a liability in a crisis event. In a situation wherein there is a need for decisive leadership, the consensus-style decision-making framework can be perceived as an inadequate tool to develop the best solution in the shortest time possible. In order to resolve this issue, the leader must welcome disagreements. Finally, the leader must make the decision even if there is no agreement within the group.

Conclusion

The consensus-style decision-making process allows leaders to gather pertinent information and ensure the creation of effective strategies. However, the leader is the one that ultimately makes the decision. The leader must take the path less traveled. He must know how to make an unpopular decision. Finally, the leader must decide what needs to be done to remedy the problem even in the absence of a consensus within the group.

Reference

Schermerhorn, J. (2014). Exploring management. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.