To speed up decision-making processes, even when everyone is working remotely, the “5-finger method” can be used. First, the issue to be decided upon is written down so everyone can see it, for instance using a split screen in the video call. Once all questions around the topic have been answered, the vote is taken by a show of hands:
5 fingers – I’m all-in and prepared to own the project. I’ll take the lead if asked.
4 fingers – I give strong support and active participation, but I’m not willing to lead the initiative.
3 fingers – Abstention: I’m on board with the majority vote.
2 fingers – I have important reservations but will support the initiative.
1 finger – I have serious reservations but will not block or subvert the effort.
0 fingers (fist) – I object and will block consensus (usually on moral grounds).
Whoever chooses to show 0 fingers agrees to communicate openly about their reservations in order to find a solution they can agree with.
This method requires a bit of practice but can help to simplify and speed up decision-making processes immensely. Try it!
Work Hacks are simple, yet original, methods that can be implemented quickly and directly. They improve collaboration and results in the work context.
In this series we will introduce tried and tested Work Hacks that will effectively improve collaboration.