There are a number of enablers to consider regarding decision making in collaboration.

  • Involve all the right people in decision making,
  • Ensure meaningful participation in decision-making,
  • Keep everyone informed – even new members of the collaboration,
  • Employ consensus decision making whenever possible.

PharmacistOne pharmacist explains their strategy in decision making, “We try to be very flexible and inclusive. For our collaboration to be successful, we avoid people feeling like they are left out of the decision-making process.”

A significant strategy is having the right people at the table to make a particular decision – those who are informed on the issues and who are stakeholders in the decision.

One primary care nurse explains, “In our collaboration, because I don’t have all the answers to what’s the best way to do something, we need to find the best way together. The decision-making process needs to be collaborative to come to decisions that result in the provision of the best service possible”.

Keeping people informed as much as possible is valuable in successful decision making in a collaboration. This should include new members in the collaboration so that they are up-to-date in the decision-making process and the final decision.

Another important strategy in decision making is using a consensus approach. This is an interpersonal group process that endeavours to gain the support of all participants, yet the final decision may not initially be the favourite for any one person.  Negotiation and compromise at the interpersonal level may need to be employed to reach a final decision that is acceptable to the collaboration.

Public Health NurseOne Public Health Nurse explains their decision making approach: “We act in an impartial manner and focus on the shared goals of the collaboration: Our decisions will be reached by consensus. I think that is the way our collaboration has been successful.

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