Making high-quality, high-velocity decisions

We wrote earlier about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ letter to Amazon shareholders referencing decision making.  He differentiated between “Type 1” vs. “Type 2” decisions, and about how much information you need to make a decision.

In that same letter he added another great tact for making high-quality, high-velocity decisions.

“Pick your guy and let it fly” – Dan Marino

Dan Marino isn’t Jeff Bezos, and his quarterbacking approach (supported by a lightning quick release) probably isn’t the best analogy for Bezos’ “disagree and commit” philosophy.  But, they share an intersecting spirit:  don’t perseverate on a debatable matter.  If solid logic presents itself quickly for more than one option – pick one of those options and move forward.

This is a practice for both the boss, and the team being led by the boss.  If you have conviction on a particular direction even though there’s no consensus, it’s helpful to say, “Look, I know we disagree on this but will you gamble with me on it? Disagree and commit?” By the time you’re at this point, no one can know the answer for sure, and you’ll probably get a quick yes.

In essence, this is a genuine disagreement of opinion, a candid expression of your view, a chance to weigh the alternative, and a quick, sincere commitment to go the other way.


Disagree and Commit