Lessons in group decision making from children

1st July 2011

My 8 year old daughter came home from a school trip very excited on Thursday. Her class had been to the local park to do a project. First they had to create a map of the park and then they had to draw ideas for improvement on the map.

At home, she talked me through the map and the ideas. As she was taking me through the ideas I noticed a scribble in the corner of the park, and asked what it was. ‘Oh that was Toby,’ she replied, ‘He kept coming up with stupid ideas, like putting a swimming pool in the park. Eventually we had to right something down that he said, so this scribble is his tennis court. But it is still a stupid idea, and it won’t go in the final presentation.’

Poor Toby, a victim of group decision making at the tender age of 8! Sounds like the poor little fellow had lots of ideas, finally got one written down, and next week he’ll find out that no one else in the group was committed to it!

If this sounds like how decisions get made in some of the meetings you attend, then read about getting ‘Decisions that stick’ in our book ‘Meeting Magic‘, available from our website.