Audio player


inclusive decision making with Susan Loucks

The Small Nonprofit

Government & Organization

Are you experiencing the awkward silences at the board meetings where people seem to want to say something, but no one is speaking up? Or maybe it’s that one person is dominating the conversation. How might leaders and organizations actually facilitate structure and process for all voices to be heard at the decision making table? On today’s podcast, organizational development consultant Susan Loucks shares with us how inclusive decision making can be facilitated and fostered. 

Myths that Susan wants us to walk away from

  1. Having a structure for decision making restricts participation. While having a very complicated decision making framework can definitely be too restrictive, having no structure is not conducive for ensuring inclusive participation at the board or organizational decision making table. For people who feel that they are not the loudest or most powerful voices in the room, having a simple and clear structure can actually allow them to fall back to that structure and express their opinion. 
  2. It’s great that our board is always in agreement and making efficient decisions. While there is value in efficiency, having consistent agreement might mean that you’re not paying attention to the diversity of perspectives and opinions at the table, or that you don’t have a diversity of perspectives at the table. 

Susan’s tips on fostering inclusive organizational/board decision-making

  1. Adopt a clear decision making framework that people get behind with, and actually follow the structure. 
  2. Establish the culture that accepts and celebrates disagreement
  3. Don’t rush with decision making. Be ok to sit in the uncomfortable zone of deciding to not decide. 

Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode

Post your favourite quote on social media to share with us!

“I am usually happy if everybody is in agreement, it means it's going to be easy. It means it's going to be efficient. But I have to watch myself - this is not the optimal place for the group. We don't want people at each other's throats, but to have everybody agreeing is not the best outcome for this group. We want to be able to see that disagreement. So actually just to frame this as disagreement is healthy and good, and we want to surface that and learn what we can do better.”

“I think the bias is towards let's just make this happen. We're informal. We'll just talk. We don't have to have a lot of rules. If you're the one in power, it's super easy for you to not understand how it feels if you don't have power. To feel like I have an open door. People can just come in and talk to me! They're not going to do that unless there's like a time in the week when you're allowed to come in and talk. Right?”

Resources from this Episode'>Susan Loucks

Our organizations are only as successful as the resources we can bring to them. Our missions, our desire to have ripples of impact throughout the world, to do good and pave change in society requires us to step up and raise money. If you are a reluctant fundraiser or work with someone who is, order Raise It! today.

Raise It! Book 
Order Raise it! The Reluctant Fundraiser's Guide To Raising Money Without Selling Your Soul

Support the show (

More episodes  

Listen to how to podcast with Christian

how to podcast with Christian

Oct 4, 2021
Listen to Giving Tuesday - hope or hype? with Lys Huggesen

Giving Tuesday - hope or hype? with Lys Huggesen

Oct 11, 2021
Listen to getting comfortable using video with David Phu

getting comfortable using video with David Phu

Oct 18, 2021
Listen to you are not alone with Kimberley MacKenzie

you are not alone with Kimberley MacKenzie

Oct 25, 2021
Listen to stop tripping over your triggers, an excerpt from Raise It! with Cindy Wagman

stop tripping over your triggers, an excerpt from Raise It! with Cindy Wagman

Sep 13, 2021
:: / ::
1.0x 1.5x 2.0x