Getting the right team size, however, is only part of the answer. Even with the ideal team size, unfocused discussions can slow down the decision-making process. Let’s look at four simple strategies to help you make effective decisions in a group:
1. Create a heterogeneous group (most of the time).
Several studies have revealed that groups made up of individuals with similar opinions and beliefs are likely to engage in biased decision making. A heterogeneous team – consisting of members with a diverse orientation – can more effectively combat biases.
That being said, context also matters. Heterogeneous teams may signifcantly outperform homogeneous ones in convoluted tasks that require different skillsets and perspectives, such as conducting research and designing processes. However, in repetitive tasks, demanding structured and convergent thinking, homogenous groups often do better.
So before you assemble a suitable team, try to fully understand the nature of the decision the group will be taking.
2. Stay on the Goldilocks zone when making important decisions
When large groups participate in decision-making, there is a much higher chance of bias creeping in. For instance,Tweet watershed study, a “Goldilocks” sized team – one that is not too small and not too big – is 4.6 people, which in the real world rounds up to 5. Another recent research revealed that after the 7th person in a decision-making group, each additional member reduces decision effectiveness by 10%. The broader consensus thus goes fifty-fifty, with an ideal team size of