As they say ‘opinions are like arseholes – everyone’s got one’ so trying to make a decision through consensus will never please everyone and generally lead to ineffective compromises.
Most of us know this, so why do we still do it?
The problem, I think, is our fear of failure. Consultation can validate our thinking, but mainly it covers our butts. The more we consult, the safer we feel.
Making a decision makes you accountable and being accountable means you have to deliver. Making decisions by committee, on the other hand, means no one is ultimately responsible and therefore cannot be dragged over the coals. The other problem with committees is that with so many people to please the decision-making usually goes into a state of paralysis.
So my advice is never to make decisions by committee. By all means consult but be clear that ONE person is ultimately responsible for making a final, conclusive decision. Decisions will be speedier, just as considered, and often right.