Monday, April 25, 2011

Decision making and predictions

To measure the success (or failure) of our decision making we need to establish clear and unambiguous outcomes. In science this approach has been developed over many years, it is well known that most experiments can be interpreted in different ways and so before embarking on an experiment the outcomes should be defined explicitly.

When making decisions it is just as important to define what will (and will not) happen because of the decision being made. If this is not set out clearly then there is a danger that the decision will be seen as a success (or failure by those who rewrite history) and even more of a danger that you will come be believe that you made the correct decision (and apply the same decision in similar circumstances in the future).

Precise outcomes should be considered for all decisions. This is not true for idea generation however. At the idea generation stage you need to be able explore possibilities and generate ideas from these, it is highly restrictive for idea generation to apply concrete outcomes. So we need to develop distinctly different strategies for exploring ideas and making decisions on ideas.

So when making a decision we should be able to predict the consequences of that decision accurately and in as much detail as possible. In that way we will be able to judge the success or failure of our decision in an objective manner and so improve our decision making in the future.

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