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Recently I come to realize that some organizations seem to prefer face-to-face meetings (sometimes via skype etc.) when they want to discuss and make a decision.  Other organizations seem to take a different approach and more interested in designing/building the mechanism to exchange ideas/views and to make a decision.

What I notice is that the latter seems to work better in many occasions though we may have an illusion of “collaboration” from the former.  If we take face-to-face approach, we need to make sure that discussion is well structured/participated actively.  It is rather easy for participants to waste time and end up with not- too- productive discussion and overly long process to reach the decisions.

Designing mechanism requires thinking, and needs to evolve, as it does not work from the beginning.  But designing mechanism where views are exchanged well without forcing people to be at the same location seems to go a long way.  What seems to be even more important is that responsibility for decision gets blurred when we make a decisions “together”.  I feel that decision has to be made by an individual in many cases, in particular, when the direction has to be set for the uncharted water like today.  Illusion of shared responsibility for decisions from the face-to-face meetings may not function well.  (I need to think about this more, so stay tuned..)

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