The summer recess is ending for all businesses and it’s back to business as usual. At Westminster, however, the temperature continues to rise as Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, prorogues Parliament (a new word for my vocabulary!).

As ever, I’m not taking any political positions on this post, but MPs have shown over the past three tortuous years that there is no broad consensus for any particular Brexit outcome – even though there are clearly areas of consensus about what MPs don’t want!

As with Parliament, I’ve found that many businesses have developed a culture of consensus-based decision-making. In other words, the leaders of the business try to get as many people ‘on board’ with a shared decision before pushing the button.

Of course, this might be necessary for a very (very!) small handful of major decisions. But for most decisions, I believe that consensus-building is over-played and only serves to slow the organization down. It’s far better and quicker, instead, to have a single person who is the decision-maker and to allow that person to obtain advice from others where they see fit but, otherwise, to get on with it.

That way, you will find that your business will make much faster decisions and, in all likelihood, much better decisions. As Larry Page of Google once put it, “There are no companies that make good, slow decisions.” What’s more, even if a bad decision is made, the vast majority are reversible or at least manageable. The downside risks of fast decisions are generally low.

Where are you slowing your business down by looking for broad consensus when you would be better off making a decision, implementing it and driving your business forward?


Off The Record: I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Well, I won’t back down

No, I won’t back down

You can stand me up at the gates of hell

But I won’t back down



© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.