The Harbinger Consultancy

Consensus That Works: Formal Consensus Decision Making for Groups and Organizations

Virtual Training

Workshop Project Preparation Program Administration and Leadership

Learn a clear, comprehensive, step-by-step decision-making process that promotes collaboration, builds respect, expands participation and results in decisions that drive cohesive action without leaving people behind who are opposed to the path chosen. Consensus That Works offers a clear alternative that builds on the creative contributions of the group to craft decisions that fit your purpose, mission and goals and keep your organization moving forward. The process can be adapted for large or small groups, whether as formal as work teams or nonprofit boards or as informal as neighborhood groups or classrooms.

Use the special discount code "TrailSkills" to save 15% on registration.

Three 2-hour video conference sessions
Tuesdays, August 6-20, 2024 • 9-11 PT/12-2 ET

Consensus That Works:

• Promotes collaboration
• Elevates your group and its decisions
• Sparks creativity
• Builds respect
• Generates commitment
• Operates transparently
• Expands participation

Consensus That Works draws out the wisdom and best thinking of all participants to yield higher quality group decisions. Use it to drive cohesive action without leaving people behind who don’t support or didn’t vote for a proposal. Engage it to build energy and commitment. The more you use Consensus That Works, the more value it brings your organization.

Consensus That Works is rooted in the practice of "formal consensus," which offers a structure that facilitates moving forward. It is always clear what to do next to craft, consider and improve proposals, arriving at decisions that are understood and supported by the whole group. Clear agendas and broad participation move a group efficiently through meeting topics, ending on time with a clear roster of accomplishments. And the process continues between meetings, promoting progress that helps meetings stay on track.

Consensus That Works is not unanimous decision-making. Nor is it an undefined process that requires seemingly endless conversation to arrive at least-common-denominator solutions that leave everyone worn out, wondering what happened and why it took so long.

Consensus That Works promotes collaboration over competition. It offers a clear alternative that builds on the creative contributions of the group to craft decisions that fit your purpose, mission and goals and keep your organization moving forward.

• Are you looking for a way to supercharge your work team's performance?
• Retool your nonprofit or company?
• Make a transition to a more equitable, fair and inspiring way of working together?
• Support local democracy and participation within your community?
• Operate and enliven a consensus decision-making model you've already committed to?
• Find a better way to manage meetings, decision-making and action?


1. Foundational Understanding of Consensus That Works

• Develop a clear grasp of the principles, rules, and roles that underpin "Consensus That Works."
• Acquire a detailed understanding of the Consensus That Works process and how to operate and fine-tune it.

2. Enhancing Group Decision-Making Skills

• Learn to utilize Consensus That Works to draw out the wisdom and best thinking of all participants in order to yield higher quality group decisions.
• Understand how Consensus That Works promotes collaboration, elevates group decisions, sparks creativity, and builds respect.

3. Practical Application in Group Settings

• Develop a plan for applying Consensus That Works within your group, organization, or meetings.
• Gain the skills to drive cohesive action without leaving behind individuals who may not support or didn't vote for a proposal.
• Explore how to use Consensus That Works to build energy, commitment, and progress within your organization.

Extension & community development professionals • Cooperatives • Transition communities • State and local government agencies and task forces • Arts and cultural organizations • Place-based & conservation organizations • Community leaders • Religious organizations • Teachers and youth program leaders • Neighborhood associations • Startups • Companies large and small • Teams, departments and working groups • Group process and meeting facilitators • Informal groups • Families

Howard Terry is founder and principal of The Harbinger Consultancy. Howard took a deep dive into consensus decision-making 30 years ago, as a women's economic development organization adopted the formal consensus decision-making process. Howard has deeply explored the fundamentals of Consensus That Works, working with government agencies, companies, nonprofit boards, cooperatives, incubators, and community economic development organizations.

Michele Archie is a principal of The Harbinger Consultancy. Michele’s experience with formal consensus began when a start-up community nonprofit she was part of adopted it as their decision-making model. Michele has trained organization members, boards and facilitators in a variety of democratic discussion and decision-making processes for more than 25 years.


Registration includes up to 30 minutes of one-on-one coaching after the course wraps up

$400 regular course fee/$320 early registration discount through May 31, 2024

Group rates for two or more participants from the same organization or community — $325 per person regular group rate/$275 early registration discount

If you or someone you would like to include needs a full and partial scholarship, please inquire. We will make every effort to make sure anyone who is interested can learn this process.

Register for both Consensus That Works and the in-depth facilitator training for an additional discount — $675 for both courses/$595 early registration or $595 group rate/$545 early registration

Please inquire about tailoring custom training programs, workshops, presentations, or private consultations to your organization.


This is a virtual training. See the event website for more details.

Trail Core Competencies

Upcoming Event

Training Dates

Starts August 06, 2024
09:00 AM
Ends August 20
11:00 AM

This event takes place in Pacific Daylight Time.

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06:00 AM Hawaii Standard Time


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