Consensus must begin with the plan


A diverse set of skills are needed on the road to successfully accomplish any ongoing business or schedule project mission. Molding an idea into an actionable strategic plan, involves bringing together suitable professional individuals and forming them into a focused team, organizing efficient working meetings that take various point of views and forge consensus. Outlining the plan, starts with a clear, attainable and measureable mission statement whether self-serving or altruistic (serving many), divided into several goals and objectives and further scheduled into tasks with assignees sorted by dependency.

Consensus must begin with the plan, moving from an outline to a detail document addressing all relevant issues and shaping policy decisions, for task assignees to buy into and feel good about their roles. Identifying team members, with mission related skills and valuable experiences, to join and participate as task assignees require advance leadership skills, bearing in mind that such individuals are, more than likely, team leaders in their own rights. Before inviting team members, to contribute to the mission, an assessment has to be performed to determine both the individual’s professionalism and ability to work toward compromise, getting behind the résumé is best done in a social environment.

Curiosity and elements of prestige would normally guide attendances at the first team meeting, walkouts and no shows at the second schedule meeting can be avoided by one-on-one meetings, to discuss the mission and seek advice on the best persons to invite, before the team first meets. The first team meeting is more about meshing than discussing ideas. With all team-members getting familiar and comfortable with each other, this meeting objective is to suppress egos and assign responsibilities, in other words, moving the agenda forward. By the second meeting, with an agenda having been circulated and approved, it is time to get down to work. A third or fourth meeting maybe necessary to strengthen the missions strategic plan, giving members time to understand the mission, the actions involved and their specific role.

The resulting strategic plan is a confidential, time-sensitive, dynamic document which guides legal agreements, working relationships and most importantly, external communications. Hence, printing this document is wasteful, as changes and expansions occur constantly. The best and most efficient and secure way to collaborate on a dynamic document is online. All team-members’ ideas are, in the interest of time, express fully and most comprehensively in the written word, eliminating interruptions, for all other team-members to assess agree with or alter.

A strong strategic plan is as a result of a sound achievable mission with clearly defined exit policies, and goals and objectives with time sensitive tasks outlined and assigned to target skilled people that can work together and collaborate to forge consensus. Nevertheless, the very first issue that needs consensus is to move beyond the planning stage.