Mediocrity through Concensus

Posted by on Nov 21, 2018 in Leadership

Are you surprised by the (old) “new-ageism” practised by some when it comes to recruitment? Where candidates are “interviewed” by all staff and only employed if there is unanimous agreement? Elements of this system have proved to be useful in terms of overall staff engagement where there is a demonstration to seek the feedback of co-workers and peers in, what is unquestionably, a potentially long-term working relationship. But the full-blown consensus approach is surely an anachronism, but apparently still favoured by many engineering, accounting, and law firms who seek to manage all forms of risk by simply spreading it as thinly, and across as many, as they can.

When it comes to people engagement and employment there needs to be a decision-point and it doesn’t have to be one person but it can’t be the unanimous collective. Some “one” has to be accountable for the choice and selection, and take responsibility for immersion and induction – wider than the completion of forms, and cultural fit. When things go wrong – and they do – the facade provided by fabricated cohesion and unanimity will disguise a situation that was completely avoidable, or at least manageable in a relatively efficient time-frame.

Total agreement leads to playing it safe and mediocrity and a similar-to-me cultural environment. After all, as individuals mature in organisations, so to do their expectations and outcomes; these evolve over time and lead to change. Without expressing these changes we are doomed to stifle the creativity required of a modern and agile workplace, capable of responding to diverse and intricate challenges provided by all sorts of diverse external factors.