If you have to make a complex decision, plan a large project or lead a team, you are familiar with the following questions: Who should I involve? Who could give me good advice or creative ideas? How do I get enough support for the decision made? How do I strengthen the identification with my project? And how do I get everyone around one table?
The larger the group of people involved, the more difficult it becomes to organize the idea generation or decision-making process. And yet we know: the acceptance of top-down decisions is dwindling, both in the workplace and in politics. Decisions that are made without the participation of those affected often miss their needs, lead to protest and drive up project costs.
Digitalization opens up new possibilities for collaborative processes and for finding sustainable solutions together. Therefore we would like to give you 6 reasons for digital participation: Why should we participate at all? And why digitally?
If you join others in the search for ideas and solutions and let people participate in your decision-making processes, it will help you to improve your results. By widening the group of participants, you can generate new knowledge, address unseen concerns and encourage innovation. Tapping into the knowledge of others broadens your own horizon and helps you to tackle challenges in a solution-oriented manner.
Identification with our living and working environment is strongly related to our creative possibilities. Those who are allowed to participate in discussions and co-decisions are more likely to implement jointly developed goals and strategies and are also more willing to accept unpopular decisions. Ultimately, a democratically led discussion and decision-making process increases the legitimacy and acceptance of the results (assuming that basic democratic values are accepted).
In the joint discussion of a topic, our own ideas and opinions are challenged by other people. This change of perspective requires courage, but at the same time promotes understanding for other perspectives. The fact that we can allow different views and argue respectfully with each other is the basis of democracy and a prerequisite for cohesion.
Digital participation formats are independent of time and space. Those who focus only on offline formats run the risk of excluding people who cannot be at a certain place at a certain time. The reasons for this are numerous! That's why you should conduct processes of idea generation and decision-making in larger groups online as well. Non-digital formats can be used to accompany this process, because not everyone feels comfortable on the internet and because in some conversation situations it is better to be able to look each other in the eye.
The time of decisions made behind closed doors is over - at least that's what we hope! Because non-transparent processes lead to mistrust towards the decision makers and question the democratic legitimacy of the decision-making process. Through digital participation formats, the ideas and arguments brought forward become publicly visible. Participants can follow the discussion and can enter the process at any time. This bad news for corruption and abuse of power.
Digital tools like adhocracy+ are suitable for a wide range of topics and tasks. With them, you can set up participation processes quickly and easily and scale them flexibly. The number of participants knows no limits and the participation period can be extended if necessary. No room rental, no sound system, no closing times. Not everyone can participate online, but everyone can learn. It is a good addition to your process design method kit.