Complex Decision–Prevent Groupthink

PROBLEM: A professional association was formulating its three year plan. The group that had to develop and approve it consisted of 22 members from around the country. The problem was that all of the members were leaders in their own right and strong willed, and with different needs and opinions. The 22 opinions took a considerable time, effort and frustration to work out. Historically, these meetings were long and drawn out with lengthy argument and sometimes acrimonious debate. The new leadership of the association decide to try the software in order to reduce the contention and enhance the quality of the result.

BREAKTHROUGH: With the use of the software the entire atmosphere changed. For the first time they could clearly see the different views directly in front of them in immediate comparison. Most of the possible alternatives were quickly seen to be inadequate on several of the criteria. What was interesting is that even the individuals who supported those losing views could see it and accepted the conclusion. That was something that had not occurred previously since these members would often argue at length for their losing position. That was the breakthrough. The entire process went considerably faster. They also they achieved almost unanimous support for the conclusion, because, due to the software, everyone could see its value visually right there in front of them. As a consequence, commitment was distinctly higher than ever before. That was another breakthrough.

ESTIMATED VALUE: millions of dollars