I think decisions are what really defines a company’s culture, as evidenced by the countless hours being poured into meetings to debate the best course of action.
The truth is, we rely on people from all around us to make decisions on our behalf.
The challenge is that (in most fields) there is never enough information to ensure that the decision being made is the correct one.
The stakes are high. For company cultures that allow blaming/shaming of incorrect decision-makers, you will see a chilling effect, erosion of an innovation mindset, and redirection of energy from solving customer problems to playing office politics.
I stumbled upon Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos’ phrase “Disagree But Commit” where he encourages staff who feel strongly about an idea, but don’t have a group’s consensus, to simply ask their colleagues to take a chance on them. He writes, “This phrase will save a lot of time.” For example:
I know you don’t see this as the best way forward, but I am asking you to take a gamble with me on it. Disagree and commit?
I don’t see how it will work out, but I disagree and commit to your idea and hope it becomes our best-selling product/service/event.
This phrase might have the ability to invoke several of our shared values at Mytech Partners:
- Set the next person up for success
- Innovate through creativity
- Make decisions with our honor and integrity intact
- Communicate directly and openly.
Next time you’re at an impasse within a group, give this phrase a shot.