I have been enjoying Ken Schenck's overview of the book "Bishop" by Will Willimon. He particularly likes Willimon's take on decision making and so do I.
What I enjoyed most in the chapter was the four modes of decision making:
- authoritative - the "my way or the highway" leader. Worked good in the early Middle Ages. Not so much now
- voting - suffice it to say, those with exceptional insight are, by definition, not the majority
- consensus - ideal, but almost impossible to achieve on hard decisions
- contributive - it comes last so it must be what he likes (Willimon didn't actually come up with this list). This is when a leader or appropriate leaders listen to all the voices and then make an informed decision.
I tend to use the contributive approach. I never call for a vote because if an issue needs a vote I don't believe the proposal will be well-supported when implemented. I think the contributive approach can look like a consensus approach when the decision is made in a meeting and members are happy to give the leader a little extra say in the matter.