At this week's town hall, people shared their biggest frustrations with group decisionmaking. A lot here about the unnecessary urge to reach consensus and other points:
-Need for so-called “consensus” which I read as kicking the can down the road and conflict aversion - @ejlee
-People don't come with their ideal outcome ahead of time, wait for meeting to begin to start thinking deeply etc. - @shl
-The group's objectives being subjugated to the organization culture - @rbhu
- 95% of people are aligned but 5% are not aligned and find unsolvable holes which can cause unnecessary avalanches. - @theo
- Biggest frustration = lack of independent thinking. - @nbt
- consensus-seeking and avoidance of 'opinion divergence' - @Kazem
- When others (including myself) don't take a chance, wait for other to share first just to test the response of those in the room, failure to enjoy the experience of taking a chance and having courage - @Warrior
CCP Games has a unique approach to player interest aggregation. Every twelve months, EVE's half a million players elect from among themselves a Council of Stellar Management that represents the views of the players to CCP. This fourteenmember council is empowered to bring players' wishes and grievances directly to the developers' attention through special online channels and regular physical meetings. To get their voice heard, individual players can petition council members on a forum provided for the purpose, support the election of candidates who share their views, and stand for election themselves. A degree of party politics based around in-game alliances also takes place. CCP gives the council credibility by showing that it takes its recommendations into account in its decision making, and also supports the council financially by flying its members to Reykjavik, Iceland, for physical meetings. The minutes of the meetings between the Council of Stellar Management and CCP are public.
The studies showed that contrary to financial theory, financial value is not the only thing that investors seek. They are also motivated by, among other things, the positive emotions that they experience from trading, such as enjoyment, thrills, and excitement, as well as by how investing activities contribute to their self-esteem and image toward others. In other words, the economic activity of investing is also a consumable good in itself, like a game or a sport
which will work out and some of which won't. The goal of good decision-making can't be that every single decision will work out well. Because of the intervention of luck and incomplete information, that's an impossible goal.
The decisions you make are like a portfolio of investments. Your goal is to make sure that the portfolio as a whole adyances you toward your goals, even though any individual decision in that portfolio might win or lose.
The portfolios approach to decision-making: you shouldn’t optimize for getting every decision to work out well (it’s an impossible goal); instead, you should make sure that your portfolios as a whole advances you towards your goals, even though any individual decision might win or lose.
Knowing the outcome can ruin the feedback you get because, as you know, the outcome casts a shadow over anyone's ability to see the quality of the decision preceding it. That's why you should keep the result to yourself as much as possible.
It’s interesting how in a professional setting thinking about how to ask for unbiased feedback versus how I often ask for a confirmation/approval of a recommendation.
Annie’s point here is spot on and very aligned with how I ask for feedback on how I can improve. But it’s super different from how I I often ask for confirmation/approval which I’ll frame “Of options XYZ, our recommendation is Y. What are your thoughts/do you agree?” Which I guess is as a framing might actually bias the decision to the outcome I want, for better or worse.
You want to be careful about the way that you frame the question, because the frame you choose can signal whether you have a positive or negative view about what you're trying to get feedback on. Try to stay in a neutral frame as much as possible.
I definitely understand wanting a neutral frame for soliciting feedback. What are examples where having and signaling a positive or negative view is actually helpful (if ever)? How do you avoid analysis paralysis or thrash if you get wild but authentic reactions without framing?