One problem with majority votes is that 49% of the people may resist or disagree with a decision. To avoid this, some form of consensus decision making may be adopted. Even in flat circular organizations consensus can entangle you in huge problems.
- Consensus can take a long time to reach while pros and cons are endlessly discussed until all members (or all minus two) can come to an agreement.
- Most forms of consensus grant certain people the power to veto any decision. This veto power easily undermines the entire decision making process.
- The way a proposal is formulated can determine the outcome of a consensus decision. For example, if the the proposal is, "Let us cut the trees down to allow sunshine to hit the rooftop solar panels," and one person vetoes the decision, then the trees remain standing. But if the proposal is, "Let us leave the trees standing even if they block the sun from the solar panels because the trees were here before the solar panels," and one person vetoes the decision, then the trees are cut down.