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Can your company make a decision better than Congress?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Small Business — tracks feedback from small-business owners. We run the poll question each Thursday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Are you concerned about the debt ceiling conversations happening within the government?

  • Yes, I’m worried that they won’t make the right choice and it will have a negative effect on my business — 72.67%
  • No, I think this is just standard political saber-rattling — 14.91%
  • Yes, but I’m confident the dispute will be resolved before it causes any real problems — 12.42%
  • I’m not aware of the issue — 0%

The good news is legislators seem to agree that the U.S. cannot–  and will not — default on its obligations.  However, the path to reach this outcome has been rocky … and we’re still not done.

As business leaders, there are some takeaways from this highly publicized discussion we can apply to our companies.   Making decisions and building consensus is tough work.  The length of time it takes to make a decision can have a significant effect on your business — both for better and for worse.  A few key points to remember when you have to make a group decision for your business:

  • Include the right people in the process
  • Make sure everyone has the same information to work from
  • Keep everyone focused on what’s best for the whole company

When building consensus with groups the goal is not to have everyone love the outcome or even like it.  It’s for everyone to be able to live with the decision.

Sharlyn Lauby is the HR Bartender and president of ITM Group.

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