One of the underlying issues I see with decision-making is that organizations don\u2019t know when they should be talking and when they should stop talking and start doing!\nSo you end up with two problems:\n\nNot getting the right input because people are not talking about it when they should be, and\nPeople not executing when they should be because they keep arguing about things after a decision has been made.\n\nThe simple technique I use to avoid this type of decision stall is called Debate vs. Go.\nThis implies that there are two necessary and separate phases. The DEBATE phase and the GO phase.\nThe need for debate\nMany executives avoid opening up an issue for debate because they just want to be able to say, \u201cMake it so,\u201d and have their team execute.\u00a0They fear that if they open up a conversation, that it might raise conflict, doubt, disagreement and dissent. And they see these things as a challenge to their authority, or a waste of time.\nThis is a shame.\nBecause in this type of environment, people who know important things won\u2019t always speak up when they should, because they feel like their input is not welcome.\u00a0So important information that the leader really needs to know remains hidden, and people also feel disempowered. So both the decision and its execution are compromised.\nConflict improves decisions\nBut in reality, healthy debate and conflict is useful, as it yields the important information necessary to make a good decision.\u00a0When people are arguing, you get the deepest and richest understanding of an issue.\nIf the leader is unwilling to allow this open, rigorous conversation to happen, they are missing critical information about the issue.\nThe debate phase\nBy naming and creating a DEBATE phase, people feel like their inputs are welcome \u2013 and that they have permission, and won\u2019t be punished for speaking up.\nSo at the end of debate phase, not only is everyone smarter, but also everyone has had a chance to personally process the issue.\u00a0The debate itself gives everyone time to tune their belief systems to get ready to go, and they are more likely to be motivated since their opinions were considered.\nWithout the debate phase, you will not make the most informed decision, and your team will not be as ready or motivated to move forward.\nThe inability to progress\nThe other big issue that happens if you skip the debate phase is that you don\u2019t have a mechanism for ending the debate phase!\nManagement teams waste huge amounts of time by revisiting decisions over and over again, questioning the direction and circling back for more data.\u00a0The leaders might think they have made a decision, but the organization is reluctant to engage because you\u2019re still talking about it!\nEveryone perceives the continued discussion to mean that the issue is still in question, and well\u2026 open for debate.\nSo people wait for the final answer instead of moving forward. And they continue to add to the conversation, raising even more issues and questions. Decisions remain unmade.\nThe transition to GO\nOne of the beautiful things about having a formal debate phase is that you can end it.\nI make it clear that for every initiative or decision, there is DEBATE time and there is GO time.\n\nDebate time:\u00a0Talking, questions, input, arguments are welcome.\u00a0During debate time, I make it clear that I want to hear people\u2019s opinions. I want to hear the arguments.\u00a0I want everyone to fight for\u00a0their point of view.\nMake a clear decision:\u00a0After debate time is over, I make it clear who owns the decision, and make sure the decision gets made.\nInitiate GO time:\u00a0Then I make it clear that we are in GO time.\u00a0The decision is communicated and the action is officially kicked off. This is the time to engage in the work, not in the debate. The debate phase is over.\n\nBy setting this structure, you can make it clear that during debate time, the expected and valued behavior is to speak up. Then once you announce the decision and make it clear that it\u2019s GO time, people know that the expected and valued behavior is action, not more talking.