Last time we looked at some of the problems organisations face around decision making using traditional top down or consensus based techniques. We also introduced the idea of collaborative non consensus as a decision making technique - where everyone can discuss the decision but not everyone has to agree to the decision for it to be ratified. These can range from fairly simple systems where people can say “yes”, “no” or "can live it it" which allows them to raise an objection but not veto the whole decision, right up to fairly involved systems based around the idea of principles and objections - objections based not on just not liking an idea but on violating some fundamental principle that the organisation lives by.
While principled systems work well for organisations that are deeply in touch with their principles, other organisations may need a more structured approach. One such approach is the Advice Process which was developed at an organisation called AES many years ago and was documented in Frederic Laloux's wonderful book Reinventing Organisations. The Advice process is a simple, structured decision making process that involves 4 steps -
Deciding who decides