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"I propose..."

The Decider protocol’s most distinctive characteristic is that all team decisions must be unanimous. Unanimous team support creates automatic accountability.

In Decider, any team member can make a proposal that is resolved immediately. And any team member can effectively veto any team proposal. Individuals who don’t agree with a proposed plan of action must merely vote “no.” A single, persistent “no” vote from any team member will kill a proposal, no matter how many others support it. The team has a simple requirement: unanimity before action.

Common self-defeating behaviors have always been theoretically unacceptable, but are often tolerated. In a Decider-driven team, such self-destructive patterns will be more visible, so they can be explicitly rejected in the most useful (and hence supportive) way. All team members can make proposals (indeed, are required to when they believe they have the best idea), and all are required to support those that pass. Going forward only with explicit commitments from all to behave so as to achieve the team’s purposes provides tremendous leverage.

This vivid and total accountability stands in stark contrast to the more common circumstance: No one is quite sure who decided which steps the team would take. With unanimity-based self-governance, virtually all team failures can be clearly traced to particular breakdowns of personal integrity. These breakdowns can be easily traced to their point of origin and so their frequency is reduced. Common potential excuses are eliminated at the voting stage when Decider is the driving decision-making process.

The Decider group decision-making process includes two components:

• The Decider protocol structures the initial steps that a team takes toward a unanimously supported decision. Given a proposal, it will yield either an adopted plan or a rejected proposal.

• Many times, however, there is an intermediate stage prior to full acceptance or rejection. An initial Decider vote results in a majority-supported proposal, but not a unanimously supported one. The Resolution protocol is then used to either upgrade the level of team support to unanimity, or kill the proposal altogether.

Other Decision-Related Elements

Beyond using Decider and Resolution, maximizing the effectiveness of team decisions and team decision-making will depend on the team’s understanding and application of another important Core pattern (EcologyOfIdeas) as well as the consistent use of an additional Core protocol (IntentionCheck).