Joe’s team came up with two solutions after much research and brainstorming. A glitch in their software had been discovered by one of their top priority customers. It didn’t affect any other customers, which was the good news. It was causing problems for one customer every day, however, the bad news is that it wasn’t affecting any other customers.
They had to do some of their work manually. Joe’s company paid for two temporary workers to do the manual processing. The customer appreciated the assistance and recognized their inconvenience. He was eager for a permanent solution.
The team had now come up with two possible solutions. Both solutions were equally likely to succeed, neither would disrupt current processing and both required the same amount time and effort. Despite the similarities in the solutions, there was enough variation in the way they approached the problem for team members to disagree on the best.
Joe listened to his team discuss the merits of each approach and realized that they would need assistance in making a decision. He knew that both approaches were acceptable, he knew that all members of the team were qualified to weigh in and he didn’t need to make the final decision. Joe intervened and informed the team that they would vote. If a clear majority was found, this would be the approach they would use. The team agreed.
Joe asked his team to take a 30-minute break. He pondered how to move forward following the vote. He didn’t want to go forward with an “us against them” mentality. He created a simple voting ballot with that thought in his mind. Instead of attaching the name and address of the person who had come up with each solution he called them ‘Solution A’ and ‘Solution B’. Each had enough information to let everyone know where they were voting. He knew he could quickly collect and tabulate the ballots. He planned a team coffee break following the vote, despite this. He was able to find some short videos that were entertaining and could be shown during the break.
Joe also carefully considered the solution implementation team. He made a risky decision when he saw that solution B had received the most votes. He decided to assign the solution implementation team to the person who was most supportive of solution B. Then, he carefully populated the team with approximately half of those who preferred solution A and half who chose solution B. The team was then given the task of creating an implementation strategy and presenting it to the rest. Every member of the solution implementation team had to present a portion of the process.
Joe put so much effort into the decision making process and the final result. He had a highly-performing team. This team worked well together and achieved challenging goals. This was a team that could laugh and argue. The team felt more passionate about the issue. The division seemed deeper than in any of their previous disagreements. Joe understood the importance of rebuilding the team following a conflict like this. He knew they had to see each other as friends and not rivals if they wanted to keep their strength. The sooner the better. Joe wanted his team to be happy and free from strife, so they could support each other and meet the challenges ahead.