A voting (or feedback) mechanism which A. allows to quantify their preferences and B. employs a change of perspective by asking not for a positive vote, but to quantify the resistance.
Connects decision to their implementation.
Selection of alternatives while ensuring that decisions taken are actually implemented
- Alternatives must be clearly described
- One champion per alternative is needed. The champion is going to answer questions, modifying the alternative if needed, and ideally overseeing the execution)
- Decide on Veto rules: Is resistance level 5 a veto? Are two level 4 resistance levels a veto?
How it is done
Sequence (Total: 20 Minutes)
- Alternatives are shortly explained and questions answered. No opinions. The champion answers any questions.
- The facilitator explains the resistance levels and corresponding hand signs. 5 is maximum resistance.
3. People cast their votes by raising their hands simultaneously. The facilitator sums up, announces and records the total resistance value. Any abstentions are worth one resistance point
4. If vetos are allowed: The facilitator asks the objector for ways the alternative can be adapted in order to heal his objections and lower resistance.
5. If vetos are allowed: Resistance Reduction vote between the adapted alternative and the original alternative
6. The alternative with the lowest resistance is selected
Why it works
Decisions are much more easily made than implemented. Reduction Resistance connects the decision to its implementation
Use it not to decide on stuff, but as a way to get feedback
Claudia Schroeder and Bernd Österreicher, Kollegiale Führung (german language)
- The book “Kollegiale Führung“, which is hopefully soon available in the English language, too.
- Background on voting mechanisms
- An alternative mechanism which is more tuned to consensus is Holacracies Objection reduction mechanism used in governance meetings.
There are so many voting mechanisms available. A shame that we are rarely using voting mechanisms at all in business. And if we use one, we are likely to use the simple majority vote. A lot of wasted opportunity to engage people more.