Key business decision? Poll the room

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Oftentimes, a decision that will impact on a sourcing strategy (or any other business decision) comes down to a judgement on whether something is relatively high in terms of importance, market difficulty, profit impact, impact of a new market entrant, etc. There is no magic science to say what is relatively high and what is relatively low. Plus, for more on people’s problems with doing this in the first place, click here.

Many times, this situation will lead to a debate that turns into “MY answer is right, and the others are less qualified/intelligent/experienced.” Most of the time, others will put up a bit of a fight, but the most strong-willed of the group wins out, making the others just a bit more reluctant to stick their neck out the next time. But is the most strong-willed also the best placed to make the decision?

J.S. Armstrong has done some innovative research in this area over the last ten years. He argues that meetings are a forum for the strong-willed and powerful to exert their influence over a decision. His solution: Have less face to face meetings.  Polling the room taps into the Wisdom of Crowds as outlined by Surowiecki in 2004. If you want to read more about how this works, check out the article published by some internet hack here.

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