Impact on Decision Making
According to Dilenschneider, the power of consent is gaining significance and is a rapidly emerging force of importance to leaders, just as consensus is waning. Consent can be driven by genuine humanitarian motives, but can also be driven by self-interest, or both, especially when consent hinges on the self-interest side of humanitarian or humanistic concerns. However, viewed from the perspective of members of a project team living in a world of self-interest, they are more efficient than ever in deciding what is in their own self-interest. They will say: First give me a good reason to buy into such-and-such a decision.
Therefore, in the interests of effectiveness or efficiency, consensus will remain a vital tool for dealing with visionary and strategic issues, requiring more effort spent in gathering intelligence. However, an increasing number of performance issues will be determined by consent-style opinion voting within the team.
Figure 3: Stages of Project Leadership and "Followership" Development
The corollary with the progression from leadership to "managership" in the progression from project planning to project production can be clearly seen. Consistent with this change in style, "consensus" is more effective and preferred in the planning phases, in order to win broad commitment, but "consent" is more efficient in the producing phases because of its more favorable impact on the project constraints of cost and time. Table 4 shows a comparison between consensus and consent.
15. Dilenschneider, R. L., A Briefing for Leaders, Harper Business, 1992, p 107.