Rule #4: Aim for “Safe Enough to Try” versus Consensus

Build systems for

As individuals, we make hundreds of decisions every day. However, as organizations we often lack systems to help groups of people make decisions. By granting authority to others and aiming for safe enough to try instead of consensus, we can help our teams make decisions in a way that is effective, efficient, and empowering.


Our decisions are clear.

A midwestern school district (12,000 students, 18 schools) enacted the rule: Aim for “Safe Enough to Try” Versus Consensus by taking a large decision like “what curriculum will we use for the next five years?” and breaking it down into smaller decisions that could be made by individuals. This enabled individuals to know at each point of the process whether they were gathering opinions, building consensus, or making a decision. For more on this case study see the Decisions chapter in the NEW School Rules book.


These activities will help you and your team test out new ways of decision-making

Decision-Making Workout #4A

This workout focuses on Rule #4: Aim for “Safe Enough to Try” versus Consensus. In this workout you will build skills to take ideas that you might have said “won’t work” and make them safe enough to try.

New Workouts Coming Soon

We’ll be continually adding new workouts and activities. Come back to our website or sign up for our newsletter to be sure you have access to the latest and greatest NEW School Rules resources.

Not sure which rules to start with? Take our quiz!


Here’s what we’re reading and writing

Articles, reports, and activities related to The NEW School Rules

Reboot Our Schools

We need to reorganize our schools to mirror our day-to-day lives so formal learning is more relevant to students and the school workplace is more appealing to our teachers.

Workout #3A

This workout supports you in building skills for Managing Roles Rule #3. It helps you practice regrouping roles and accountabilities.

Rethink Consensus

Consensus as a strategy is often overused and misused. Instead of defaulting to consensus, we need to focus on how to get clearer about roles and authority.

Connect with Us

Let us know who you are and what you’d like to learn more about