Minimal possible change

Sometimes, I'm presented with a decision which seems pretty drastic, or affects a lot of people. When there is not a clear consensus on what to do, I try to look for the minimal possible change.

Minimal possible change, minimal time-frame to evaluate.
This means less disagreement around trying, and less impact to the team.

Choose a group responsible for the decision and the team empowers them to take the call.
This avoids the endless discussion which gets reset every time someone disagrees

Be specific about success criteria
Before starting the experiment, agree on what the concerns are, and how we will check in X weeks or Y months to ensure those concerns aren't a problem. This avoids confirmation bias when we typically continue to justify our initial opinions about what will happen.

For example:  Instead of "Hey team! I decided we will not have any more meetings between 10AM and 6PM on Mon-Wed", you could say:

"Let's try not scheduling any meetings on Wednesdays for one month.  It might be the case that this just pushes meetings outside work hours, so we will ask people not to schedule outside work hours, and will check in with people in 1:1s to find out if that's happening.  The decision will be revisited in one month by Amrita, Joe and Mariela."

If we do this, we can often spend less time in disagreement and more time learning about what works for us.  So next time you're thinking of what *really* needs to change that you can't seem to get everyone to agree on, try doing less, faster.

Jacob Singh
CTO in residence at Sequoia Capital. Independent product and Engineering Coach Mediocre guitarist, singer, rock climber, point guard and baker Dedicated dad. American in New Delhi.
New Delhi