We wouldn’t now stare in awe at his work.

Which is why some teams don’t deliver awe. Every decision requires networks of people to be at the table. And round-and-round the meetings go until consensus is achieved – and the awe, that special thing that would have differentiated the team’s work, gives way to something everybody can settle for.

Imagine standing with Michelangelo’s committee, staring up at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. What type of brush should we use? Don’t you think God’s fingers are a bit too pale? We should use more of a salmon color, yes? And what’s up with all the people with wings? A bit, too much, don’t you think?

Before we rush to the conclusion that we need to have one person making all the decisions (who’s the Michelangelo on our team?) let’s recognize that we’re in the post-linear, matrixed and highly networked world: collaboration rules. In short: We have to work together.

The only solution is to be Michelangelo as one team. Let’s ask ourselves quickly: What’s worth debating and what discussions have little value? And what will we do when we find ourselves debating the hairs of the paint brush? Let’s consider the possibility that if we make a decision where everyone agrees we haven’t made the best decision.

Debate for the purpose of discovering even better ideas is essential to success. Debate as a means to get everyone to agree means that Michelangelo is still up there on the scaffold waiting for us to make a decision.

Let’s make a decision and get on with doing what our customer needs.

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