Are you "on board or out" or "disagree and commit"

Active and passive resistance to changes and initiatives drain energy and morale significantly reducing the chance at success. Poorly managed disagreements can be a project killers. Companies take different approaches to counter this.


  1. Get on board or find another job where an executive decision is the end of the discussion. This approach does not acknowledge that there is a time for discussion and dissention. It forces people to get on the same path while devaluing their role.  
  2. Disagree and commit is an approach most recently made famous by Amazon.  Individuals vigorously disagree during planning and decision making phases. They explicitly commit to the effort once a decision has been reached. 
  3. Create no common framework and operate with a policy of hire smart people and they will do the right thing across the organization.  This can devolve into sandbox style fighting with no obvious path to resolution. I hesitate even mention this guerilla warfare decision making process. 

Choose Disagree and Commit

A well known and broadly communicated decision process provides an easy phrase or framework when it comes time to execute a plan. Everyone understands the implications when they hear it is time to commit. 

It is important that everyone believe in both phases and their ability to impact the process. Moving from disagree to commit is difficult when it doesn't go your way. It is even worse if people don't think they were listened to.

Not One and Done

Disagree and commit does not mean commit forever. Decisions are revisited and regular or important milestones as part of implementation.  This is an opportunity to revisit previous decisions and change or retain them. 


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