This is the third in a five part series on decision making.
In the best of times, leadership teams may be able to survive while lacking a single purpose. When budgets are tight and companies have little room for error, a leadership team at odds with the CEO’s vision is fatal. Independent thinking among the leadership team is fine during the strategy formulation state, but when it comes to implementation, there must be one voice. Leaders must learn to focus on what drives value for the collective good of the company. But it goes beyond the CEO and her leadership team. To survive in the ‘new, new’ economy, everyone in the company must buy into the vision. During a Gary Hamel interview at the 2008 Management Summit Lab, Google CEO Eric Schmidt suggested that one of Google’s reasons for success was in the “wisdom of crowds.” Not every company goes through the exhaustive decision making processes and involves as many people as Google does, but every leader can benefit from building consensus on their direction. It’s not just that every issue finds the best outcome, it’s that every issue has the best outcome based on the best data available and a decision that’s implemented in a timely manner. In other words, facts based decisions made by smart people with deadlines.