A few weeks ago Lizz was participating in an off-site meeting with a client, someone who both she and I work closely with. Our client half-jokingly wanted to know what happened when Lizz and I didn’t agree on something, and who ultimately prevailed. I’m sure the conversation ended with Lizz explaining that her perspective came out on top more often than not, just as I would have taken the opportunity (and lack of Lizz’s presence) to do the same! But the truth is the decision making dynamic at Sequence is both incredibly complicated, and unusually simplistic.
First things first. Dana, Lizz and I disagree all the time. We disagree all the time, and that fact — more than anything else — has been instrumental in Sequence’s success. Anyone who knows the three of us knows that while we share so many of the same values and priorities, we are vastly different people. From our personality types to our communication styles, to our interests, to our strengths and weaknesses, the three of us are always approaching decisions from different perspectives (and commonly drawing different conclusions). Sure there are business initiatives, projects and relationships that we independently drive, but more often than not we are using each other to explore points of view that usually are not our own.
So how do we actually come to the decisions? By communicating of course! (What else would you expect from a live communications agency?) Usually in person — verbal and non-verbal cues are critical! —, hopefully trying to listen more than we talk, and sometimes accompanied by some minor sparring (non-physical, thankfully). It isn’t always quick, and it isn’t always pretty, but it is almost always effective. At the very least when the three of us have weighed in on something we’re confident it’s been thoroughly explored. That process, and dynamic, is invaluable.
The process has treated us so well that we’ve worked hard to instill it throughout the rest of the team. Regardless of title, regardless of tenure, regardless of the org chart, if you can contribute a unique thought or perspective to the decision making process, it is always welcome.
Sequence’s ego is the only one in the room. Which is exactly the way it should be.