Consensus Through Conversation: How to Achieve High-Commitment Decisions

  • 1h 13m
  • Larry Dressler
  • Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 2006

Real organizational change isn't brought about by decree, pressure, permission, or even persuasion. Sustained change comes when people are passionately and personally committed to a future that they have helped to shape. If you want to turn your organization's cynics into owners, give them a voice in the decisions that impact their work. Consensus Through Conversation shows how.

Consensus is a cooperative process in which all of a group's members develop and agree to actively support a decision. It's not mere acquiescence--consensus goes several steps beyond, transforming people from resigned instruction-followers to dedicated champions of an idea. Larry Dressler shows you exactly how to prepare for a successful consensus-building process, takes you step-by-step through that process, and offers tips for success and traps to avoid. Throughout, he provides a host of tools and examples that make this an eminently practical and immediately useful guide.

Consensus Through Conversation will give you the tools you need to use consensus effectively in your organization. It is a handy, vital reference that you will turn to again and again in your efforts to tackle high stakes issues, make high quality decisions, and build enthusiasm and commitment to action.

About the Author

For more than fifteen years, Larry Dressler has designed and facilitated conversations and learning experiences that elicit new insights and inspire action in organizations. He is sought out by executive leaders as a trusted advisor on how to weave candor, commitment, collaboration and continuous learning into the fabric of the workplace.

As the founder of Blue Wing Consulting, Larry has traveled throughout the country speaking, consulting, and connecting with people who embody what he calls “Wide-Awake Leadership.” He has worked with a wide variety of organizations, including Nissan Motors, USC University Hospital, Starbucks, Washington Department of Ecology, Pediatric AIDS Foundation, U.S. Federal Protective Services, and Cisco Systems.

Described by clients as a “gentle instigator of breakthrough conversations,” Larry’s work has brought him to interesting places including the headquarters of companies in 30 industries, a “circus school” in Colorado, the Ecuadorian Amazon, and Skid Row, Los Angeles. Whether in a corporate boardroom, on a factory floor or underneath a rainforest canopy, Larry’s special talent for posing powerful questions and setting collaboration in motion is at the heart of his work.

Larry’s education combines the disciplines of social psychology and business strategy. He earned his BA degree in Sociology from UCLA and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. He has also completed post-graduate coursework in Organizational Psychology.

In this Book

  • Consensus Through Conversation—How to Achieve High-Commitment Decisions
  • Foreword
  • Introduction: The New Rules of Decision-Making
  • What Is Consensus?
  • How Do I Prepare?
  • What Are the Basic Steps?
  • How Do I Work with Disagreement?
  • Six Traps That Undermine Consensus
  • Ten Tips for Better Consensus Meetings
  • Toward High-Commitment Decisions
  • Resource Guide