Nominal Group Technique is a group discussion and consensus decision-making process that ensures everyone is heard, the key issues discussed, the best solutions identified, and a fair, group-based decision is made. Networks use this technique when faced with a difficult decision, multiple viable solutions, or differences of opinion. It ensures everyone is heard and a part of the discussion.
Consensus decision-making is vital to the effectiveness of mission networks and partnerships. However, many of us who serve as network leaders struggle to build genuine consensus in our networks, partnerships, or working groups. The reason is that consensus decision-making processes are very different from the top-down decision-making processes most of us know from our own organizations….
In this video, Prem James shares about the importance of working through and building on consensus from the very beginning of a partnership. He speaks from his own experience building consensus-oriented partnerships within the complex cultural context of South Asia and emphasizes the point that consensus is the way to create real ownership and investment from all partners.
In this video, Clyde Taber shares a story about the formation meeting of the Visual Story Network, highlighting many of the best practices in partnership development: (1) considerable time invested up-front in building relationships and exploring interest, (2) a gathering of the key people who are interested/involved in the area for the purpose of exploring collaboration, (3) a defined process with open-ended outcomes (i.e., not assuming a partnership will be formed), (4) consensus-building, (5) defining priorities, (6) organizing for action with working groups, and (7) a dedicated facilitator.