Collaboration and Decision-Making: Three Things that You Need to Know

board development and revitalization intentional practices strategic planning and policy development Sep 18, 2022
Collaboration and Decision-Making: Three Things that You Need to Know


There are many, many ways of looking at decision-making, both individually and in groups, such as your board.


Some suggest that you determine ahead of time whether the issue has relevance for others, and whether they have expertise.

  • If there is both high relevance and high expertise, you should collaborate;
  • if there is high relevance but low expertise you should perhaps just inform;
  • if there is low relevance but high expertise you should consult; and
  • if there is low relevance and low expertise you should just decide, and save others time.


McKinsey & Company offers a similar approach to decision-making. 

This could be exactly what your board needs. Share this article with your colleagues!



If in your board deliberations you are making complex or uncertain decisions, you need quality debates and likely in-person meetings.




If it is routine, but decisions need to be made (most board meetings?), determine whether it should be in-person or virtual, either might work as well.


Now, when innovative problem-solving is required (would that it was needed more!), what we propose as items on the "For Exploration Only” part of the agenda, in-person works best, leading later to a decision meeting.


Short routine sessions for coordination or input only can again be in-person or virtual, leading to the next steps.

And of course information sharing, sadly most meeting time suckers, can be one way and not require a meeting, can be designed for questions and responses, or can be on a consent agenda, at an in-person or virtual meeting.


Not all items are equal in the nature and the quality of contribution required. Not all items require the same standard form and format of meetings.


Consider carefully the agenda items, the context and design of the agenda and how best to handle items both for the best decisions and to save the time of board members.


What are your main “pain points” dealing with decision-making and board agendas?
What advice would be most helpful to you?
And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!


Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.




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