Agree to Disagree or Disagree Then Commit?
Internal issues typically arise in boardrooms and throughout other parts of an organization due to a lack of aligned execution. Too often, teams resort to a compromise in which arguing sides agree to disagree and then just plow ahead. That strategy often fails. When divergent opinions crop up, the key is to not force decisions too quickly. Rather than agree to disagree, aim for "disagree, then commit." This alternative approach earns everyone's actual commitment so that the disagreement does not continue to fester beneath the surface. According to the article's author, who currently serves as chief product officer at Knowlarity, "it's the far more effective 'solver' route that moves past egotism and puts the organization's needs first."

In the disagree, then commit approach, there are three primary steps. The first is disagree, where free discussion is encouraged before reaching any type of decision. “Disagreement here is a good thing. If two people always agree, one of them isn’t really needed,” the author says. The second is commit. At this step, a decision must be made within a pre-determined time frame. At the end of that period, the leader must decide on the best course of action. If disagreements remain, the leader needs to make a decision that they believe best aligns with the organization’s interests. The third step is iterate and improve. While everyone is committed to the same course of action, the leader encourages feedback in private (not public) conversations and iterates as needed. The best leaders stay open to feedback, letting their team members know they can continue to influence (but not sabotage) the process.
Fast Company (05/11/18) Shrivastava, Ajay
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