Rounds are a structured form of discussion designed to systematically gather all of the perspectives in the room.
Unstructured conversation (you know, "normal" conversation) has some unaddressed flaws: loud voices dominate; we miss valuable points of view; we waste time repeating each other when we really just agree; we struggle to get to the point.
When there are clear, absolute chains of command, how we discuss doesn’t make much difference, or is already decided before we get in the room. In this context, the team’s job is to equip the decision maker with data to inform the decision.
But this kind of clarity is rarely the rule. Within the organization, teams are rapidly forming and disbanding, multiple “bosses” need to feed into a given decision, and decisions are always open to re-evaluation. Outside, conditions are changing too fast for any one decision-maker to have the best data about how to proceed.
So we need to be intentional about how we surface and incorporate different perspectives into how we proceed. You might call this emergent collective wisdom – created by letting everyone respond to a prompt without interruption.
It’s actually as simple as selecting a given prompt, and letting folks speak. Call on them, or let them find their own order. Go around once, or until everything that needs to be said has been said.