sal silvester's perspective
I just saw an advertisement for a training course. It was titled something like "Making Team Decisions by Consensus."
This is where team building gets a bad rap and experiences on the "ropes course" don't translate well into the real work environment. Making decisions by consensus is applicable to bowling outings and the summer picnic and that's probably about it.
Typically, teams never truly reach consensus anyway. Instead, they end up with an "aura of consensus" where one or two loud voices or big personalities speak for the group.