When we go to an ice cream shop, there’s rarely ever just the one and only ice cream. Ice cream may be the only thing served, but it comes in a seemingly endless array of flavors… and they can be mixed together! The same goes for decision making.

Like different flavors of ice cream, as co-owners you’ll have different approaches for how you want to achieve your desired outcomes. For a decision made by one, the other may wholly disagree with that decision because of how it was made. And yet if the decision was made in a different way, that addressed or mixed preferences, the outcome could be more desirable.

By taking the time to have a conversation with business partners, where you learn about each other’s decision making preferences, everyone will be better prepared to support each other in order to create stronger processes for making important business decisions.

Try this: Identifying needs when making decisions (Freely timed or ~30 minute exercise)

  1. Gather with your business partner(s) and assign a notetaker.
  2. Take turns answering the question: What do I need from the decision making process? Aim for each person to share 1-3 needs. Keep in mind that needs here are universal– needs that we all share, such as the need for clarity, collaboration, and consistency. The notetaker is responsible for recording down each business partner’s needs from the decision making process.
  3. Take as much time as you need for this process, or plan for 30 minutes, dividing up the time by the number of business partners.
  4. Keep the resulting “decision making needs” list as a reference for when you’re creating governing procedures for the business in Step 4.
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Potential needs related to decision making:

Choice, Clarity, Collaboration, Communication, Consistency, Cooperation, Effectiveness, Inclusion, Order, Participation, Support, Trust

With your needs in mind, move onto Step 4 to start making governing decisions.