Every time your team makes a decision, do this next.
by Will Gray
How many decisions does your leadership team make every week? One? Twenty?
Can I tell you a secret? Each time you make a decision, you have a golden opportunity. And most teams miss it.
Here's the story:
Every time Clive Wearing sees his wife, his face lights up. He jumps up from his chair and tells her how glad he is to see her again.
It's not mainly because Clive is a loving husband. It's because he has no short-term memory. Which means that, every time he sees his wife, it feels like it's the first time he's seen her in a long time—even if he saw her last only 10 minutes ago.
The story of Clive Wearing is sad, but it's also an exaggeration of what leadership teams do all the time.
We made a decision about that?
I can't tell you how many times I've heard one leadership team member turn to another and ask, in all sincerity, "We made a decision about that?" As you might imagine, the first team member can be quite offended. "Well, of course we did! It was just last month!"
Don't let short-term memory loss happen to your leadership team.
One of the most important things you've been "hired to do" as a leadership team is to create the new clarity your company needs to succeed. Most of the time, that clarity is going to come in the form of decisions.
Capture that decision
So here's my challenge for you.
Every time your leadership team makes a decision (yes, every time), do this:
- Someone on the team—anyone—should ask, "What did we just decide?"
- Someone else on the team—preferably someone random—should state the decision, as briefly and helpfully as possible.
- Ask, "Is that it?" If anyone disagrees, it's their job to restate the decision.
- Once the whole team is satisfied with the way the decision is stated, record it.
You'll be pleasantly surprised at how useful this process is for your team. You'll each get better at listening, at summarizing decisions, and most importantly, at remembering and valuing the decisions you've made as a team.
Final note: record your decisions somewhere the team can easily access it (such as Google Docs). Because you never know when someone's going to ask, a month from now, "We made a decision about that?" It just might be you.